A cornerstone of the smart city movement, smart street lights, also known as intelligent lighting, allow municipalities to remotely operate, preprogram, dim, turn on or shut off a single or a group of lights from a centralized management system (CMS). The conversion of high pressure sodium (HPS) lights to LEDs and the use of smart street light systems hold the potential to reduce the estimated national street light energy cost of $15.6 billion a year by an average of 70%.
However, this isn't the only benefit smart cities can yield from implementing this approach. Smart street lights can help deter crime, enhance services and improve public safety. When paired with wireless motion detection sensors, which activate lights when movement is detected, and with near real-time notifications, which provide alerts when lights go out or other concerns arise, they can also help promote greater civic safety as well.
What's more, today's most advanced systems can convert LED lighting fixtures into smart devices or control nodes that can continuously capture and transmit information on demand. Capable of being retrofitted to existing lampposts, intelligent lighting systems leverage high-speed wireless connectivity, cloud computing and analytics to offer more sustainable ways to manage energy use, reduce operational costs and promote public safety. Equipped with a growing array of environmental sensors, smart street lights go beyond providing city leaders with a network of Internet of Things (IoT)-powered safety and potential watch posts on virtually every corner. Their data-gathering and analytics capabilities can also help illuminate what's happening on the streets in ways that can help government planners design smarter, more efficient cities—and explore the correlation between smart street lights and crime prevention.