The connected street light: an agent for change

 

Public urban lighting does more than illuminate the streets—much more. Ensuring basic visibility and safety for pedestrians and drivers at night is only one of an expansive sweep of capabilities that can significantly affect social and cultural life, the economy, and the environment. Given that estimates place more than half of the world’s population in urban environments by the middle of this century, public lighting exerts a powerful influence not only locally and citywide, but globally as well.

To meet the challenges of accelerating urbanization, municipalities must increasingly turn to intelligent management of services. Connected systems that make use of new data sharing and gathering capabilities are giving city and service managers more flexibility, control, and efficiency than ever before. Connected lighting systems that offer remote monitoring and intelligent management of all light points across a city can serve as agents of change, making lighting operations much more efficient and environmentally friendly while enhancing a city’s cultural and social life.

 

At the local level, sufficient and well-designed lighting cultivates a sense of security and peace of mind for citizens. Connected lighting systems give street lighting managers the ability to specifically target and optimize light levels and distribution in different areas of a city. When lighting brightly illuminates a street at night, eliminating dim sidewalks and dark corners, pedestrians feel more relaxed and more engaged in city life. When roadways and intersections are properly illuminated, drivers can get where they’re going with less confusion and fewer accidents.

Connected Street Lighting

Intelligently managed public lighting can enrich a city’s identity and cultural life. Beautifully illuminated streets, facades, and public spaces invite people to enjoy the city at night, supporting commerce and encouraging people to attend cultural events and special celebrations, both indoors and outdoors. Dynamic lighting experiences can join with thoughtful functional lighting to strengthen the sense of community within the city and the city’s brand on the global stage.

 

Of course, public lighting costs money, like any other city service. In fact, street lighting represents one of the highest fixed costs for a city, and accounts for as much as 40% of a city’s energy use. Fortunately, cities can now make cost-effective and sustainable choices. The combination of LED street lighting and intelligent lighting management systems, like Philips CityTouch, offer many ways to cut urban lighting energy costs dramatically—up to 70%—while also reducing CO2 emissions and improving the quality of lighting across the city. Intelligent lighting management systems can also significantly reduce administrative and operational costs through remote monitoring, automation, and accurate data on assets and processes.

Climate group

Remote, intelligent lighting management can have a salutary effect on another important but often overlooked constituency. By scheduling light levels and other aspects of illumination with the natural day/night cycle in mind, a municipality can minimize light pollution and otherwise avoid disrupting the wildlife in and around the city.


Sustainability experts have demonstrated that LED street lighting delivers real economic and environmental benefits, and that connected lighting management can multiply those benefits. City managers owe it to their citizens, and to the environment, to deploy efficient, intelligent lighting operations in their municipalities today.


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