Municipalities all over the world are constantly faced with the challenge of improving public services while cutting costs. Street lights as an important part of cities use a big portion of the annual energy consumption. “Smart city” as a solution for this challenge is being helped By IoT technologies to make a lighting network with an efficient management.
Megacities are increasingly competing to utilize the Best Human and financial resources available. IoT technologies implemented in urban environments enable the creation of the so-called smart cities and improve budget efficiency, the quality of life, and the investment appeal of any city. The main areas of application for IoT solutions in urban environments are public utilities, transportation, and services for residential areas. The world has seen many different models for implementing these technologies. In Russia, the number of successful implementations increases every year. However, there have been a number of unsuccessful projects as well. The failures usually stem from an inadequate assessment of the required resources and benefits during the planning phase. The complex structure of the market of technology providers, and inefficient implementation are other reasons why such projects would fail.
The LED lighting and telecommunication networks are transforming street lighting. As a consequence, public lighting networks are becoming a platform for a wide range of smart city innovations. The vision of the city lighting network, as a smart city platform, is the next frontier for street lighting. Because of the reduction in costs and the improvements in quality, LED lighting is becoming the default option as cities replace and upgrade existing lighting systems. Using LEDs in the street lighting system leads to a reduced energy consumption of up to 50%. As the production costs decrease and the quality of LED lighting improves, energy consumption reduction is becoming greater. New York City, for example, expects $6 million annually in energy savings from replacing its 250,000 street lights with LEDs and a further $8 million in maintenance cost savings. But installing LED lightings is only the first step. Many municipalities now realize that upgrading street lights also provides an excellent opportunity to install a lighting control network. This network, in turn, offers cities an opportunity to deploy a range of solutions that can save money, keep residents safe, improve sustainability, and attract new people and businesses.
The Benefits of Connected Street Lighting
Connecting street lights together in a computer-controlled network opens the door to a wide range of innovative capabilities that save energy and improve the performance of the street lighting system. Beyond those applications lie the broader possibilities for deploying non-lighting solutions on the lighting network, making it a ubiquitous platform for smart city applications. Enabling a connected network at the same time as upgrading to LED lighting also reduces overall costs and removes the second installation program (step).
Street Lighting Management
At the most basic level, street lighting controls provide elementary features such as remote on-off controls, dimming, and scheduling functions. There is also a wide range of advanced functions that can be enabled by intelligent controls:
Energy Monitoring and Billing
Accurate information on energy consumption is an important element of reducing energy costs. In addition, as street lighting becomes part of a more complex electrical system, accurate and real-time information on energy usage becomes more important for optimization and grid management.
One of the most cited benefits of a networked street lighting system is the ability of a manager to remotely monitor outages. This eliminates the time spent on night-time patrols to identify malfunctioning lights and ensures that problems can be fixed in a timely manner.
Early LED lighting deployments were associated with a monotone and even a harsh light, but modern LEDs can be adjusted to select the color temperature of the white light emitted by street lamps. For example, lighting may be adjusted for public safety purposes, to fit with special events, or for the different needs of retail or business districts. Recent developments in full color tuning permit even greater control of illumination, allowing an almost infinite range of color and temperature options.
Sensors that monitor local conditions can enable networked systems to adapt the brightness of street lighting as necessary. Linking light controls to traffic volumes, for example, can provide considerable energy savings. If no traffic is present or traffic volume is extremely light, then full brightness street lighting is not necessary. Similar motion detectors can enable lighting levels to match street activity.
Weather sensors can also enable adaption to rain, snow, or other conditions. For example, lights may be turned up during rain showers and back down when the weather clears.
Networked street lighting systems give city managers a number of features for dealing with public safety issues and emergencies, such as flashing lights in front of a house the emergency workers are attempting to find or brightening lights at an accident or crime scene. Other common applications include the use of adaptive light controls to provide warnings to drivers in school safety zones. Note that many of these current and future applications benefit from designing in extra lighting power, so that if or when needed, lights can be brightened beyond normal levels.
Smart City Platform Applications
Beyond the capabilities for advanced lighting controls, street lighting networks also have the potential to support a range of non-lighting applications as part of the broader deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions for smart cities:
Environmental/Air Quality Monitoring
Connected street lighting poles enable air quality and noise sensors to be easily deployed in specific locations or to provide citywide real-time monitoring capability.
Traffic sensors connected to the street lighting can provide a more accurate and flexible monitoring of traffic and congestion levels.
Street lighting networks can provide the network infrastructure for parking sensors embedded in parking spaces or be used to mount video cameras that use vehicle detection software to provide occupancy information.
Gunshot Detection and Location
Gunshot detection systems can be deployed on lighting poles and use the network to transmit information on detected events to the operations center. Advanced systems can provide precise information on the specifics of the event, including the shooter’s location and integrated video monitoring. These applications can be deployed using sensors attached to the street lighting controls. A wider range of applications also benefit from sharing the same network infrastructure:
Traffic Light Controls
Traffic lighting that is adaptive to congestion levels, weather conditions, accidents, or other events can improve traffic flow, reduce travel times, fuel consumption, and pollution.
Smart Waste Management
Sensors in trash bins and dumpsters can provide data to optimize waste collection and identify problems from overfilling. Waste sensors can use dedicated networks or a common city network to relay data to the waste management team to help plan collection routes.
Public Messaging/Digital Signage
Public information networks now span a wide range of devices, including traffic and parking information panels, public information broadcasts, and dedicated kiosk services. Linking public information to real-time urban monitoring systems, like smart parking systems, provides more accurate and timely information. A common city network also allows public information to be relayed through a broader range of devices, including smartphone or in-car systems.
High Definition (HD) Video Surveillance
Many cities are using closed-circuit TV (CCTV) to provide video monitoring for traffic management and for public safety. The bandwidth requirements for HD video traditionally required a fixed broadband network but high bandwidth wireless networks are increasingly become capable of supporting such applications.