The Future of Street Lighting Report
Key takeaways from the Future of Street Lighting Report
Street lighting is essential in an urban environment. It affects residents’ sense of safety and social inclusion, improves visibility for pedestrians and motorists, and creates an inviting environment for businesses after dark. However, one third of the world’s roads are still lit by 1960s technology which makes up 40% of a city’s overall electricity costs.
This is changing. Many towns and cities are replacing their sodium streetlights with energy efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) based lights. This is driven by sustainability targets, emerging government standards and the need to reduce costs. LEDs offer longer lifetimes, lower energy consumption and reduced maintenance expenses. LEDs are an economically beneficial alternative to traditional streetlights when energy savings are considered, despite their higher upfront cost. Typical payback periods range from 4 to 12 years.
However, switching to LED lighting alone will not be enough to meet cities’ energy consumption reduction targets. Adaptive, interoperable lighting solutions are needed, facilitated by connecting LED bulbs with a central management system (CMS) over the internet to take savings to the next level.
These networked street lighting systems allow operators to monitor and regulate light levels in unprecedented ways, resulting in increased energy savings and lower operational costs. The 50% energy savings that are realised by switching to LEDs increase to 80% when connectivity and a CMS are added.
While the energy and cost saving benefits are driving adoption, cities are increasingly seeing the opportunities that the infrastructure offers. With an even and widespread distribution across urban areas, readily available power and integrated connectivity, smart street lighting is being used to form the technology foundation of a city. The addition of data collection devices such as sensors and cameras, is allowing street lighting infrastructure to be used as a platform to host a variety of applications in the areas of environmental monitoring, traffic optimisation, smart parking and public safety. Furthermore, street lighting infrastructure is being used to host charging points for electric vehicles, and as a base for public Wi-Fi and communication networks.
Read the IoTUK report and find out how the humble lamp post may well become the most valuable real-estate in the city for future deployment of smart city services.