The concept of smart cities is relatively new. However, “smart lighting” has been around for a decade or more. Smart lighting allows a “precious balance” of lighting to be applied where it’s needed, when it’s needed, and only in the right amount.
Smart lighting makes the urban environment safe for people at night, while improving the quality of life both at night and during the day, while enabling a more harmonious existence of technology, people, flora and fauna, which cannot be made with traditional technology. Ultimately, a smart lighting infrastructure provides a ubiquitous network across a city that can be the initial backbone for smart-city services and technologies.
Smart lighting consists of dimmable light emitting diode (LED) luminaires with sensor and controller interfaces, a control system and a supporting infrastructure.
The control system is composed of lighting nodes, a communication network with one or more lighting node controllers and a human interface. Smart lighting, when adaptive lighting is implemented, can reduce lighting energy consumption by up to 50% while providing higher quality light for improved safety.
Finally, the use of smart lighting infrastructure as a starting point for smart-city devices and services is introduced. The use of surplus power available in lighting power lines is discussed, as well as the use of the controller network for additional services or data collection and transmission.
Smart lighting is available and offers significant potential benefits to cities. Smart lighting seems to be the logical starting point of any smart city plan.