Intelligent street lighting can help cities save money and enhance services and public safety, but there are privacy problems. Intelligent street lamp is one of the core elements of smart city. Cities can replace old street lamps with more energy-saving LED bulbs. They can also use wireless connection to activate the motion sensor of street lamps when passers-by approaches, and automatically remind urban management institutions when they need to replace bulbs. Intelligent street lamps can also enhance public safety through network monitoring and environmental monitoring.
According to the research report recently released by the Internet of things analysis company Berg insight, the global installation of intelligent street lamps is expected to increase from 10.4 million by the end of 2018 to 31.2 million by 2023. Levi Ostling, Internet of things analyst at Berg insight, said: “the smart street lamp market is undergoing major changes and entering a new era of competition. The success of suppliers will depend on whether they can become a strong provider of smart city equipment communication and management platform.”
What is intelligent street lamp system?
Smart city street lamp is a kind of street lamp that has been generally upgraded to LED bulb, and its energy consumption is far lower than that of traditional incandescent bulb. Philips, one of the suppliers of intelligent street lamps, said that cities can reduce energy use by up to 50% through Internet of things lighting. This is crucial because, as Cisco points out, street lights can account for 38% of urban utility costs.
Street lights can be managed remotely, or automatically dimmed or turned off according to nearby activities, which can save money for the city. LED lights are also brighter than traditional lights, which improves public safety by making the traditional dark areas of the city brighter.
Chicago is installing 40000 new LED street lights throughout the city. In 2019, the city said that due to the adoption of new energy-saving street lamps, about US $100 million will be saved in the next decade. This street lamp consumes 50% to 75% less power than outdated high-pressure sodium lamps.
At the same time, as pointed out on the smart city lab website, intelligent lighting has been recognized as “one of the most feasible and easy to implement technologies for cities to transition to a low-carbon economy and reach peak emissions in the next decade.”
The website pointed out that led lamp posts are also “an ideal infrastructure for installing smart city systems”, and “when used for networking and monitoring, they will become a sensor platform to further improve efficiency and provide important data for countless urban solutions”.
Glenn buck, sales engineer manager of transition networks, wrote in smart cities dive, “the future street lights will not only illuminate the streets at night.” Intelligent street lamps can support solar power generation, digital signs, environmental condition monitoring (temperature, humidity, flood conditions, air quality) and traffic monitoring.
Cisco pointed out that the data collected by these sensor networks “can support many urban services and initiatives on a single public infrastructure: from law enforcement to environmental improvement, traffic monitoring and earthquake prevention”.
According to radiocraft, an embedded wireless company, the intelligent street lamp system includes a set of street lamps that “can communicate with each other and provide lighting data to the local concentrator”. The concentrator then “manages the relevant data and transfers it to a secure server that captures the data and displays it on the web browser dashboard.”
The intelligent street lamp management system also includes two-way communication, allowing utility or facility managers to “remotely monitor street lamps and track lamps and their power consumption.” This monitoring helps to reduce maintenance costs because each street lamp has a unique ID and can be accurately located. If the connected street lamp is damaged or overturned due to weather or failure, the city staff can arrange maintenance for that specific street lamp post.
The street lamp monitoring system can provide automatic street lamp maintenance《 A research paper in the International Journal of engineering and technology points out that light sensors can be installed in all street lamp circuits to automatically turn on / off street lamps. Once the lamp is turned on, the current sensor installed on each street lamp circuit will report the lamp status to the central system through the GSM wireless module connected to the circuit.
Once these data are sent back, maintenance personnel can be easily sent to the faulty street lamp. The paper points out that “the system also maintains a database to store useful information from each street lamp, such as power consumption, total lighting hours, total interruptions and details of fault detection”.
How can smart city street lamps ensure public safety?
Smart cities and police departments are using smart street lights to help fight crime, respond to emergencies and better serve citizens.
David, chief Innovation Officer in Carlsbad, California and former deputy chief operating officer in San Diego? In an interview with IEEE spectrum in 2018, David Graham said that the intelligent street lamp with sensor can detect some sounds, so as to “automatically send a danger alarm to the police by identifying the sound of broken glass or car accident”. Public safety officials “can monitor intersections and record when traffic jams occur – this information can be used to adjust traffic lights.”
A post from the Smart City Council pointed out that Coolidge Park, located on the riverside of downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, benefited from the increased LED intelligent street lights“ The park is notoriously unsafe, and gang gatherings sometimes lead to fighting. However, the city cooperated with the local company global green lighting to install intelligent street lights that can be controlled remotely to make them light, dim or flash. When the lights flickered, the gangs scattered, and over time, the park returned to calm “.
The smart city committee pointed out that in addition, the intelligent lighting system can include built-in speakers, which can be “used to broadcast public broadcasting notices in an emergency, or just play music to increase the atmosphere of public places.”
How to combine intelligent street lamp with monitoring?
Buck wrote in smart city diving that using the surveillance camera embedded in the intelligent street lamp, the city can “monitor the traffic conditions and speed to adjust the traffic signal or remind the driver through digital signs”. He also pointed out that the smart lamp post “may also help identify suspicious behavior or enable license plate recognition.”
San Diego police chief David nisleit said that the city’s intelligent street lights with embedded cameras are “game changers” to help find suspects.
“We use them very carefully and only for the most serious cases, very violent cases or serious or fatal injury collisions,” nislet said in an interview with the San Diego joint Tribune“ But we have the ability to use them as a response tool and as an investigation clue “. However, critics say that the street lights in Santiago also collect pedestrian activity data, which may put citizens’ data at risk.
Simon Sylvester Chaudhuri, executive director of CIV: lab, an urban innovation non-profit organization, said on Samsung next blog that in order to reduce privacy issues, city leaders “need to establish advanced control measures to protect citizens’ data and be transparent about who can access the data and how to use the data“