It’s estimated that as much as 40% of city energy budgets are spent on outdoor lighting and that a single street light can emit 200 kg of CO2 each year. Increasingly, cities need to save energy or do more with less energy, reduce carbon emissions, lower operating and maintenance costs, and comply with tighter government regulations.
Why do we need Smart Lighting?
Not just above, even Light pollution, also known as luminous pollution is becoming an increasing problem for the cities. Light Pollution is the excessive, use of artificial outdoor lighting, which alters the color and contrast of the nighttime sky, eclipses natural starlight, and disrupts circadian rhythms – the 24-hour process of various organisms
This affects the environment, energy resources, and wildlife. The threat of light pollution continues to grow as the demand for artificial light increases each year.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) estimated that excessive nighttime lighting releases more than 12 million tons of carbon dioxide, the most serious greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere each year. It would take nearly 702 million trees to absorb the carbon dioxide produced by wasted light.
Wasted light results in energy waste, obviously. A 2007 IDA study estimated that 30% of all light emitted by public outdoor light fixtures is wasted, which amounts to 22 Terawatt Hours (TWh)/year of wasted electrical energy. This is equivalent to the following:
- About 3.6 million tons of coal per year
- About 12.9 million barrels of oil per year
The total amount of wasted electrical energy each year is enough to illuminate over 11 million homes and power over 777,000 cars! Now, these are huge numbers.
Light pollution affects the feeding, sleeping, mating, and migration cycles of all wildlife.
For all these reasons, better-managed lighting and lighting control top most cities’ priority lists.
Smart Lighting – The Solution
A smart lighting solution creates Light Sensory Networks that transform LED light fixtures into sensor-equipped, smart devices that are just not capable of capturing and transmitting data in near real time, but allows the administrators to control and manage them remotely. Example, the lamps can be turned on whenever needed and turned off after a short time, remotely.
The sensors/ smart devices provide unprecedented actionable insights and help to enable an array of applications and services for cities, citizens, and businesses. These insights can help administrators to understand and predict the timings for the lamps to be switched on or off daily and the system should be able to do the same automatically.
In addition to the above, cities are exploring Smart City applications and the use of lighting to boost safety for both drivers and pedestrians.
Whatsoever, the energy savings and lighting optimization are the primary drivers for lighting upgrades, this solution focuses on improving management of lighting, energy, and maintenance for all light fixtures on the network. These applications can be accessed securely through a web browser to set such controls as occupancy-based dimming, daylight harvesting, copper-theft alerting, energy usage, savings reporting, and real-time maintenance status.
Apart from energy savings, below are few more benefits of deploying smart lighting in a city:
- Ability to free up energy according to demand
- Lower ongoing maintenance and inventory costs through remote identification of lamp failures, preventive maintenance, and the use of lower-wattage, longer-lasting street lights
- Improved public safety and satisfaction due to reduced lamp downtime, less light pollution, and better overall lighting quality
- Reduced CO2 emissions
- Reduced light pollution
- Rapid detection of electricity theft and leakage