How can connected street lighting help cities achieve their smart ambitions? What are the latest developments and trends in connected street lighting, and what potential do these developments hold for cities?
These are just two of the many important issues around the design and implementation of smart city initiatives addressed in a webinar on smart street lighting leadership, recorded on 20 November 2018. Participating were Eric Woods, a research director at leading industry analyst firm Navigant, and Barbara Kreissler, Director, Professional Lighting for the Global Public and Government Affairs team at Signify.
In his overview of the current state of play, Woods noted that only 11 percent of street lights are LED today, and only 3 percent are connected. But he also pointed to the many practical examples of cities that have successfully implemented smart street lighting projects. LED lighting, Woods observed, is now a mainstream technology, and It is now firmly established that LED street lighting helps cities lower their energy consumption, reduce their carbon footprint, and realise significant financial savings that municipalities can invest in other important areas.
“As a next phase of smart street lighting, and as it evolves to connected street lighting, it offers unprecedented opportunities for cities to go way beyond energy savings and carbon emission reductions,” said Kreissler. “By adding sensors to the lighting system, cities are able to collect data for greater insights and support additional value-added applications.”
Woods went on to describe the steps that cities can take today to leverage digital infrastructures to achieve real outcomes that address intractable social issues across sectors—for example, health inequalities, lowering carbon emissions, improving public safety, addressing problems of an ageing population. To achieve such outcomes, cities must learn how to share data across multiple connected systems, find new ways for different organisations to collaborate, and invent new models for funding initiatives and evaluating success.
Woods argued that we’re now reaching the stage where cities can combine proven technology and implement systems at scale, and with lessons in hand from early adopters, cities can focus on execution. At the same time, the need for collaboration, openness, and integration has created a new playing field for suppliers.
Woods and Kreissler then conducted a wide-ranging Q&A with attendees, which touched on important topics such as how to overcome barriers to adoption, ownership of digital infrastructures and communications networks, how to create repeatable business models, and what cities need to do in terms of technology platforms, governance models, and cybersecurity.
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