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The Use-Case for Smart Street Lighting

Last updated May 12, 2023

As Smart Connected Cities grow and develop globally (with climate action and safety initiatives being push forward), new methods for information collection, safety monitoring, and renewable energy use are of great value. The primary benefits of Smart Street Lighting are to provide lighting adapted to the movements in a city while having a bird’s eye view of the surroundings, connecting streetlights across a city or region. They provide an optimised lighting services, according to movements and traffic, using electricity more efficiently and collecting data to be used to improve transport networks and traffic safety. Here we also discuss the value of the Smart City network enabled by Smart Lighting solutions such as those from Tondo.

This helpful paper provides a quick, basic overview of the use-case for Smart Street Lighting. It includes information helpful for organizational leadership to develop their own internal business cases.

It does fail to detail one key decision driver for Smart Street Lighting, which is the enablement of the Smart City network.

Light poles and control cabinets are everywhere people live, work, and where the vehicles travel that transport them. Control cabinets are used to power groups of lighting poles, but have been more recently displaced by Smart Lighting controllers on each lamp. This enables a finer degree of control – and remote control – over each individual light.

Smart Lighting solutions such as Tondo’s also create a city-scale network that supports sensors and devices such as video cameras and smart energy meters. it is this “Smart Network” that is necessary for a Smart City to function.

A complete use-case for Smart Street Lighting must take into account the enablement of the Smart Network for Smart Cities. It also introduces critical requirements for a Smart Lighting solution that include, but are not limited to:

  • Secure – any “network” transmitting information and capable of controlling critical infrastructure must meet the strongest possible cybersecurity standards, validated by independent standards and testing.
  • Future-Proofed – critical infrastructure is expected to have long lifecycles of 5 to 10 years, as the cost of replacement at city-scale can be enormous. This requires the ability to support new standards and functionality that does not yet exist or that may change frequently.
  • Simple – deployment costs between different Smart Lighting solutions can vary widely. Costs can range from $50 – $150 USD per pole to dispatch a truck with a lighting technician, depending on the location, availability of resources, the method of installation, and the amount of time required at the top of the pole.
  • Open Standards Based – cities and organizations must avoid vendor lock-in and the risk of future economic hold-up problems based on proprietary technologies. Open standards technologies at every point in the solution chain will enable organizations to leverage greater buyer power, and put the onus on the vendors to innovate in order to obtain and retain their business.
  • Beyond Lighting – outdoor lighting control is one of many Smart City applications, and its electrification and “capillary” nature throughout the city makes it an ideal platform for the Smart Network. The development of a flexible Smart City network requires a platform that supports sensors, cameras, meters, and other devices. This requires a city-scale platform that can support many times the number of devices than there are light poles in the city.
  • Automation – the large number of devices on the Smart City network will require much greater automation facilitated by artificial intelligence technologies that include machine learning, reasoning and heuristics, image recognition, natural language processing, and more.
  • Edge-Computing – with these advanced applications on the Smart City network, we will need advanced computing power at the “edge” – where the devices are located – so that we minimize the amount of data that must be transmitted over the network and the associated costs.
  • Cloud Native – cloud native platforms mean that the platforms are created from the very beginning to operate in any type of cloud. That can be a public cloud (shared cloud with multiple organizations), a private cloud (a dedicated cloud for one organization), or a hybrid cloud (a combination of public and private clouds). It is also important to avoid lock-in to a specific cloud host: at Tondo, we use AWS but we also believe our customers should have a choice, and we have architected our Cloud-IQ management platform to provide our customers that choice.

At Tondo, we are committed to these principles in our product designs. We are also committed to making these concepts easy for our customers to understand and committed to providing the information they need to make the best decisions for their organizations.

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