ARTICLES — October 17, 2019

Taking Streetlight Benefits Beyond Well-Lit Smart Cities

Wherever we are, cities are always filled with streetlights: highways, streets, parks, and other common areas. There are as many as 90 million streetlights in Europe, and three-quarters of them are over 25 years old, accounting for up to half of some cities’ energy budgets. To tackle this issue, the EU has a plan to create 10 million smart streetlights. In Indonesia, Smart Lighting Santini provides a network of streetlights in Surabaya, supported by Telkomsel IoT Control Center. By using a reliable connection, Santini is able to cut down the cost of setup and get a lower monthly fee.

From those widespread phenomenons, it is safe to say that cities can achieve benefits that go beyond powerful machine-to-machine (M2M) communications by connecting streetlights to IoT. Also, through IoT-powered streetlights, a large number of applications can be put into practice within a bigger context of the development of smart cities across the world.

Intelligent Information Portal

With IoT, it is now possible to install a city-wide intelligent lighting network that feeds local information to the smartphones of citizens and visitors via Bluetooth. By using downloadable app, smartphone users can now access information about local retailers, special offers, and company information.

Citizen Safety Improvement

Smart streetlights will improve citizen safety by delivering public information thought digital displays and speakers, as well as measuring air quality and monitoring streets for flooding. Apart from that, the sensors attached to streetlights will have multiple uses from helping visually impaired people to navigate the city to alerting drivers to vacant parking spaces.

Conversation-conducting Streetlights

Pioneered by UK company Hello Lamp Post, London and Bristol implemented a playful approach to smart streetlights. Citizens are invited to conduct conversations with streetlights and other street furniture by text, using the object’s identification number. These streetlights were programmed to ask questions about their surroundings and to engage people in conversations.

Mobile Broadband Connectivity Network

In San Jose and Los Angeles (USA) and Barcelona (Spain), smart lighting solutions are utilized to provide mobile broadband connectivity. Installed light poles can be remotely managed and offer a WiFi hotspot that improves mobile network performance across the city. Using this connectivity, further IoT applications and functionality can be added. Such as 360-degree LED lighting and CCTV.

Typical everyday streetlights can be transformed into something smarter and more manageable when integrated with IoT technology. With IoT, it is easier to keep track of data like the number of operation lights and power consumption of each light post. By having the ability to operate luminaires and control an entire network of streetlights using IoT, it won’t be long until we see a new revolution in smart cities.

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