8 things you wanted to know about Smart Lighting

Smart Lighting is one of the most mature smart urban applications – and its benefits have been widely discussed. We all know LED-based and remotely managed streetlights consume less power, contribute to climate change mitigation, and generally make cities safer, liveable and more attractive places.

However, it is sometimes difficult for city and utility managers to separate the hype from the reality and make a meaningful business case. In a newly published report Smart Lighting: how switched on are you? (free download upon registration) – we answered 8 key questions that urban leaders might have so they can embark on their smart journey from a more informed position.

Let us offer a sneak peek…

How much money can cities really save with Smart Lighting?

Streetlighting accounts, on average, for 40 per cent of a city’s electricity bill. Savings due to smart technologies depend on a number of variables, but usually they are worth the case.

The municipality of Gijon in Spain deployed a public and interoperable IoT infrastructure in 2016. Streetlighting was the first urban application to be run on it, with an initial installation of 1,150 LED luminaires being monitored and actioned by our software management platform. The economic saving for city coffers was assessed at around €100,000 a year.

Another interesting example is the Tesserete‐Canobbio bike trail in Ticino, Switzerland, where local utility AEM upgraded existing luminaires to LED technologies, connected them to a wireless network and interfaced every lamp with a motion sensor, so lights automatically switch on and are dimmed to 100 per cent only when cyclists or pedestrians pass by. As a result, annual operating hours along the trail reduced from 4,300 to 600, and average costs decreased from 11.19 to 1.56 Swiss francs per light point.


Does Smart Lighting make the management, maintenance and repair of luminaires more complex and expensive?

No, that is exactly the opposite! By having all light points connected to same network, cities can fully monitor and operate luminaires remotely, leveraging a single software platform. Proactive to real-time detection of luminaire failures or out-of-the ordinary behaviours becomes possible, and technicians can be sent out only when and where needed, arriving on site already informed of and equipped to address the specific issue. As well as reduced costs and more streamlined operations, this also improves the quality of service and citizens satisfaction.


Can Smart Lighting generate revenues?

Smart lighting investments can pay for themselves and even turn into a revenue generation opportunity. In 2016, the city council of San Leandro in California, USA, started its smart journey by replacing around 5,000 streetlights with LED lamps and implementing a wireless IoT network with a centralised management and control system. Other applications and services were added over time to the network, such as integrated parking, public wireless internet and traffic video surveillance. Upon the initial spending of $5.2 million for energy- and water-saving equipment, it was calculated that the investment would generate $8 million savings over 15 years through reductions in energy and water use, and $1.5 million in positive cash flow over that time.

This happens when urban networks are designed as interoperable infrastructures, able to host multiple applications and launch public-private collaborations and more, they can create viable opportunities to monetise the data they generate.


Eager to read more? Download our paper and don’t miss our free webinar on Thursday, July 1st 2021 at 9am (EST), 2pm (BST), 3pm (CET), 5pm (GST): we will discuss benefits and success factors of best-in-class Smart Lighting, providing an overview of some real-life urban experiences. Register today!

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