Smart lighting is the ultimate IoT platform

Smart lighting technology is the key to helping cities save energy, reduce costs and cut back on maintenance, Enterprise IoT Insights contributor Juan Pedro Tomas reported on August 3.

The technology is a major factor as more smart cities continue to develop. Embedded sensors and digital networks can gather and send out information that will assist authorities in overseeing and react to different circumstances, whether it’s traffic, air quality, crowds in the street or noise. 

Meanwhile, at the local level governments can more efficiently see where traffic is building up and where there’s available parking. All of LED lighting’s functions, powering them on and off, flashing and dimming can be done remotely, therefore allowing cities to take advantage of less energy consumption, but not at the expense of bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ safety.

Speaking of safety, smart city and industrial IoT solutions specialist Silver Spring Networks believes networked street lighting that is constructed on a scalable platform could lead to a 10% drop in crime and improve visibility, making the roadways less dangerous.

Silver Spring Networks also sees network-based lighting solutions as an ideal platform for other smart cities capabilities like parking meters, traffic management systems and traffic lights. It also said municipal utilities have a chance to leverage smart city infrastructure by using grid applications like advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation (DA).

AT&T is among the companies that are also embracing smart lighting technology. The telecommunications giant is using General Electric’s IoT sensors that reside in streetlights and offer vital information about crime, air quality and traffic.

Paris saw the benefits of adding a smart street light system to its city. It asked Silver Spring Networks to put in a project pilot that would include integrated smart street lighting, traffic signal controls and an IPv6-based multi-application network in an effort to decrease the amount of public lighting energy that was being used. Silver Spring increased the functionality of its smart infrastructure platform for the project in order to support smart city solutions like traffic signal controls and intelligent street lighting.

AT&T is also working in a number of smart street lighting initiatives across the United States. It joined Current, which is powered by GE and Georgia Power, earlier this year to try out intelligent lighting solutions in Atlanta. The telecom company’s smart cities framework would serve as the foundation to bring intelligent lighting solutions throughout Atlanta, according to AT&T.

Georgia Power and the city of Atlanta will pilot Current’s IoT sensor platform for cities and implement approximately 1000 wirelessly controlled LED lights. The pilot will test how well the intelligent technologies can assist the city in improving mobility, public safety and reducing emissions and greenhouse gases.

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