Not more, but more intelligent lighting

The dome of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Opera House in Sydney, the Empire State Building in NYC, Maputo–Katembe Bridge in Mozambique, and many other monuments around the globe were switched off for sixty minutes last Saturday, March 23rd. The Earth Hour by WWF is worldwide known as a “lights off” moment, with households and buildings turning off their lights to show symbolic support for the planet and raise awareness of the climate crisis.

Every night, when the sun goes down, about 304 million streetlamps are lighted globally, and 48 million more are to be expected by 2025, says The Climate Group. Lighting is clearly an essential, but highly impactful service, as it currently accounts for nearly 6% of global CO2 emissions and generates almost 2 billion tons of GHG each year.

We can’t simply switch lights off to reduce energy consumption and environmental footprint… but it’s true that many cities may improve streetlighting management by making their infrastructures more efficient and sustainable. In most case, our cities do not need more lighting, but more intelligent lighting.

Replacing old lamps with smart LED-based solutions is definitely the first step. Then, by connecting lamps and controlling them from remote, cities can define customized lighting patterns for single districts and areas. Streetlights can be turned on/off and dimmed according to programmed schedules (ie. setting a default combination for working and festive days, for residential and industrial areas, etc.), changing them whenever necessary to mirror specific local circumstances or events.

Lamps may also be integrated with motion sensors, vehicle counters, tilt sensors, and other devices, triggering condition-based dynamic lighting. This is particularly useful in low-traffic areas, where lights may be further dimmed only when no vehicle or pedestrian is passing by.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in the last five years a number of American municipalities switched to LED technologies and reduced their energy bills by approximately 50% over conventional lighting technologies. When implementing remote lighting controls, they experienced additional savings of 20 to 40%.

Beyond cost savings, Smart Lighting provides significant environmental benefits thanks to the reduced power consumption and carbon emissions, thus helping cities reach their carbon reduction goals. Light pollution is also mitigated, while perceived public safety increases because of improved visibility through better color rendering and more uniform lighting distribution.


Do you have a Smart Lighting project in place, or are you interested in starting a smart journey? Get in touch with our experts!


Photo source: Adobe Stock

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