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The following 48 page pdf is a document discussing the future of street lighting and how it relates to the IoT and Smart Agenda.

Brian Buntz of the Internet of Things Institute provides a useful metaphor: ‘Lamp posts may well follow a trajectory similar to that of mobile phones. It wasn’t so long ago that mobile phones were suited for one purpose only – making calls. Now, making a phone call has become almost secondary to all of a smart phone’s other capabilities. Similarly, while the lamp posts of yesteryear provided only illumination, modern-day lamp post can serve as multi-functional smart-city nodes, capable of monitoring everything from crime to parking to weather.

This report will discuss the progression of smart lighting infrastructure from the adoption of LED bulbs, to the creation of a distributed smart city platform. It will investigate a number of applications that can be hosted through street lights, detailing use cases, benefits and potential business models, as well as providing examples of real-life case-studies wherever possible.

The humble lamp post may well become the most valuable real-estate in the city for future deployment of smart city services. Many pieces of the smart lighting puzzle are available including low cost, low-power LED lighting, multiple methods of connectivity, multiple sensors and the applications to support them, however, the true potential of the smart lighting infrastructure remains relatively underrated. This report will discuss the progression of smart lighting infrastructure from the adoption of LED bulbs, to the creation of a distributed smart city platform. It will investigate a number of applications that can be hosted through street lights, detailing use cases, benefits and potential business models, as well as providing examples of real-life case-studies wherever possible.


Having taken note of this huge market potential, several traditional lighting vendors are creating their own intelligent lighting systems, and numerous innovative start-ups are emerging in the field.



Philips is a global smart public lighting vendor, with its CityTouch management platform deployed in cities around the world including London, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Los Angeles. Philips supplies lights, control units for power lines or wireless networks, and a lighting control system.


Echelon is a vendor of generic control platforms, therefore does not supply luminaires, but rather the control systems that work with them. Echelon developed the LonWorks standard, which is used for the automation of various functional within buildings and cities, for example, lighting. By 2010, approximately 90 million devices were installed with LonWorks technology.


Telensa is a specialist provider of street lighting control systems. Similarly to Echelon, Telensa does not supply luminaires, instead providing its own wireless technology and PLANet Central Management System that allows management of lighting infrastructure. The company is also active in parking and vehicle tracking applications.

Silver Spring

Silver Spring has predominantly been involved in smart meter deployments, however it has recently acquired Streetlight.Vision, a provider of CMS systems for street lighting. Their CMS system can control lights using either power lines or wireless communication networks, and is widely deployed across Europe and Asia.

GE Lighting

GE provides all components of a smart street lighting system, including luminaires, control nodes, wireless mesh networks and central management systems. Its proprietary platform for managing public street lights is called LightGrid.


Osram is a spin-off of Siemens and supplies luminaires as well as full lighting solutions including a management platform called Street Light Control (SLC) which is based on Echelon’s LonWorks technology. Osram’s street lighting solutions have been deployed around the world in cities like Milan.


Cisco offers a Smart+Connected Lighting solution which combines with its Smart+Connected Multi-Sensor Node to create a light-sensory network (LSN). As well as acting as a lighting control system, the resultant platform is capable of gathering a wide variety of data from the environment including levels of humidity, CO2 and O2, particulate matter, motion, video and sound. The solution has been piloted in cities including Amsterdam and Nice.

Cities all over the world are already adopting intelligent street lighting systems. However, they are now starting to see the wider potential of the humble lamp post. Both traditional lamp posts and more advanced smart lighting installations have the potential to act as a smart city platform, enabling a range of other smart city applications through the integration of data collection devices such as sensors and cameras. Lighting infrastructure is being used as a basis for solutions in many areas, however, this report will discuss applications in the following areas: • Environment monitoring • Transport optimisation (traffic management and parking) • Public safety • Electric vehicle charging • Wi-Fi and internet provision • Digital signage and public communication.



The deployment of smart street lighting infrastructure and the integration of the additional solutions described throughout this report often involve multiple vendors, numerous independent systems and complex technological interactions. This creates a number of barriers to the successful use of smart lighting infrastructure as the technological foundation of a smart city.

Cooperation of multiple stakeholders

Looking more widely at the actors involved in deploying these solutions, implementations will inevitably require the cooperation of different industries with diverse skills, competencies and working methods. In addition to manufacturers of lighting infrastructure, hardware vendors, software providers and connectivity service providers will all come together. Furthermore, business agreements will need to be negotiated with each of these providers based on the value of the service provided.


Through the addition of multiple solutions to smart lighting infrastructure, there is a real possibility that systems will become overwhelmingly complex. A lack of integrated standards, mismatched interfaces and multiple proprietary systems that are unable to accommodate third-party applications could make connected lighting systems too difficult to implement. Additional solutions will need to be easy for the city or operator to manage and will need to be easily accessible and intuitive for end-users in order to be successful. To mitigate this complexity risk, cities are deploying additional solutions in a modular, incremental fashion, ensuring they see value from one solution before adding another.

Lifespan of Lighting Infrastructure Smart lighting infrastructure is likely be in operation for at least 20 years, therefore the embedded systems need to be adaptable over long periods of time and need to be able to support new applications. Cities are having to plan ahead in order to be prepared for options that are not currently available. For example, ensuring bandwidth is left available for unknown future applications. By planning ahead, cities will be able to leverage their smart lighting infrastructure to roll out an entire smart city blueprint over a period of time.

In order to do this, cities require that software system used by smart lighting solutions needs to be remotely upgradable and based on open standards so that third-party solutions can be added over extended periods. Cities do not have the resources or money to upgrade software systems every couple of years, and are increasingly wary of vendor lock-in. Similarly, the applications developed will need to be compatible with the range of software programs that operate a city-wide lighting network.


These networked street lighting systems greatly increase energy savings, with the 50% energy savings realised by switching to LEDs increasing to 80% when integrated with a central management system .

In response to this compelling business case, a number of traditional lighting vendors and innovative start-ups have brought solutions to market.

While the energy and cost saving benefits are driving adoption, cities are increasingly seeing the wider potential of smart street lighting infrastructure. With an even and widespread distribution across urban areas, readily available power and integrated connectivity, smart street lighting is being used to form the technology foundation of a city. Through the addition of data collection devices such as sensors and cameras, street lighting infrastructure is being used as a platform to host a variety of applications.

Applications include:

Environmental monitoring

Transportation applications

Public safety and security

Public Wi-Fi and internet provision

Electric vehicle (EV) charging

Digital Signage

Infrastructure barriers: Lastly, with the integration of multiple applications into smart lighting infrastructure, there is a real risk that the systems will become overwhelmingly complex and too difficult to implement. To mitigate this risk, it is recommended that cities deploy additional solutions in an incremental fashion, ensuring value is being delivered before adding another solution.Despite these barriers, there is huge potential for smart lighting infrastructure to service as a multi-functional smart city platform, capable of monitoring everything from crime, to parking, to weather. Streetlights are ubiquitous in urban areas, can provide power to data collection devices and are increasingly enabled with connectivity capabilities.

The promise of this approach is not so much in the generation of new data, but in the streetlight’s ability to converge previously disparate systems, and enable the development of solutions and services that combine data from a variety of sources to improve services and generate new revenue streams. While business cases for many applications still require strengthening, it is almost certain that lamp posts will be used for more than illumination in years to come.

Full 48 Page pdf






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