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What Does the Word "Smart" Stand for in Smart Street Lighting?



The word "smart" has many different definitions and nuances; however, there is one common denominator that ties them all together: it always represents something above average, an added value or special capabilities.

Smart and intelligent street lighting control systems are designed primarily for energy efficiency. A comprehensive system usually consists of advanced luminous sources such as HID (High Intensity Discharge) or LED (Light-emitting diode) lamps, control unit and sensor(s) installed in each lamp pole or group of lamp poles, communication units and a management center application/system. These components are connected through a reliable and secured wired or wireless network that enables two way communications - for monitoring and control functions. Smart street lighting control can also be connected to conventional lights but then it may offer less energy efficiency and "smart" control, as specified below. The intelligent system provides the operator with web access for automatic or manual monitoring and control over illumination performance. 
Following is a brief summary of the main advantages and merits derived from a smart street lighting control system--which definitely qualify it as smart:

Reduced Maintenance Costs

Light control systems accurately detect light failure and other maintenance problems in real time; thus, most malfunctions can be fixed quickly, giving the public high quality services. Moreover, the need for routine maintenance checkups is eliminated.

Real-time Reports and Controllability

Smart street lighting systems enable continuous data transmission from each pole or from a segment of lamp poles. The information reported to the central back office management system consists of lamp poles dynamic parameters, such as instantaneous levels of ambient light, voltage, current, power factor, energy consumption, temperature and real time alerts. This important data is collected for the utility or municipality for calculating electrical bills, for future analysis but mainly to control and make modifications through the network. The two-way communications allow numerous automatic and manual modifications, such as advanced scheduling and intensity by the control unit to suit current environmental circumstances.

Environmental Impact

LEDs and light control deliver significant ecology value. The extensive energy savings lead to a similar reduction of greenhouse gas (such as CO2) emissions.

Light Intensity Control

Dimming options, when implemented with LEDs, unlike conventional light sources, allow major energy efficiency. They enable a precise matching of light level to practical current needs.

Smart Mapping

Integrating Google maps services enables an accurate illustration of each light pole with its own unique parameters. The detailed map combined with further data provided by Google maps, such as demographic data, satellite pictures, synoptic charts etc. may be used for current status, for analyses and future conclusions along with high quality, up-to-date maps delivering a superior User experience.

Life span

As opposed to smart lighting technologies, conventional light technologies suffer from decreasing quality of light with time. The use of LED lamps, together with the dimming option of smart controls, results in an extended lifespan; here are some measurable figures: Incandescent light bulb life span is around 3,000 hours; fluorescent lamp life span is approximately 10,000 hours, HPS lamp life span is around 19,000 hours and LED lamp life span with dimming capabilities is around 50,000 hours or more.

Expendable Infrastructure and Scalability

Smart lighting control system automatically incorporate new network nodes. Moreover, additional smart automation systems such as temperature and pollution sensors, traffic signals, security, fire detection, visibility conditions and traffic sensors may be integrated and supported easily.

Social Benefits

Improved visibility, achieved by white and uniform light and accurate modulation, creates a safer environment for both pedestrians and vehicles.

Varied Lighting Effects

Esthetics is a virtue everybody appreciates. Smart street lighting allows municipalities to embellish the streets with different colors and special illumination designs.

Dynamic usage

Smart lighting systems are not restricted to street illumination. They are a highly effective solution for other outdoor and indoor areas like parks, parking lots, businesses, health facilities, educational institutions, residential buildings and special electric light applications, such as road signs or even Christmas lights distributed throughout the town.

Smart lighting systems are a rapidly growing industry, which covers many different fields and skills. It provides major contributions to global economic development and the environment. Furthermore, professional research and scientific reports forecast a radical cost reduction of LED lamps and other related smart street lighting devices. The low prices will lead to the implementation of new technologies such as motion- guided systems, mobile control and other services that will establish the future 'Smart City' and will make the "smart" even smarter!  

 For more details on Smart Street Light Control, please contact us .

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