Smart LED street lighting upgrades within the community

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Street lighting upgrades are one of the few elements within a community where councils hold the power to directly implement change.

Over the past few years, Queensland has had a number of smart lighting advances take place. Installed in anticipation of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the City of Gold Coast began the rollout of smart LED street lighting facilities.

In order to improve energy and maintenance costs for the city, the initial process of replacing mercury vapour lights with sustainable LED alternatives began. Lighting units with smart capabilities were also installed at key points around the district. The fixtures possess the ability to be controlled via a phone application, says Pamela Bessette, executive coordinator of the Energy Management Program at the City of Gold Coast.

Through this IoT application is the real-time capability to remotely control the lights; equipped with the capacity to be dimmed, enhanced or even switched on/off at a moment’s notice. With this employment of a connected lighting system, comes the increase of the lights shelf-life, a decrease in carbon emissions, and improved accuracy for asset management for all street lighting components.

The implementation of smart LED street lighting fixtures is not something that is limited to Australian councils. Taking place worldwide are intelligent lighting programs that aim to serve the community through innovation and efficiency.

Responsible for the installation of over 255,000 smart-controlled LED fixtures, including Atlanta’s 37,000, American gas and electricity utility company Georgia Power has been involved in the application of smart street lighting in over 275 municipalities.

Georgia Power’s lighting services manager Scotty Hutto has been closely involved with the states transition to smart lighting solutions. Through his involvement Hutto notes that there are three important facets to take into consideration when planning and undertaking large-scale lighting projects:

  • opening up community dialog
  • pre-planning your installation approach, and
  • making allowances for contingency time.

Initial LED installations in Georgia faced minor backlash due to the sudden shift in lighting temperature. Before 3000k fixtures were readily available, a significant number of upgrades were performed with 4,000k units, this newly perceived brightness resulted in a handful of complaints from residential areas.

Despite the level of upgrades occurring locally and internationally, councils still have a long way to go before they are completely smart city enabled.

Both Bessette and Hutto will be speaking at the 6th Annual Australian Smart Lighting Summit on the 11 and 12 September 2018 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Image: 123RF’s Peter De Kievith ©

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