Smart Lighting

SmartStreetLighting is a term describing a general concept of smart electricity usage rationalization in street lighting. Implementing SmartGrid projects or on a larger scale – SmartCity projects, one should not forget about SmartStreetLighting. Depending on technology sophistication such systems have different functions. The simplest ones aspiring to this group are systems based on temporary power reduction during late night hours. However, in this case we can not talk about smart controlling and merely about reading necessary, theoretical light intensity data from a data base. Such systems are being replaced by comparably priced yet offering considerably more functions and far greater potential for energy savings smart controller systems using electricity lines for communication.

Such a solution enables communication without costly investments in communication networks. Echelon’s LonWorks PowerLine Communication technology most commonly used in similar solutions has been tested in the largest SmartGrid project implemented in Italy by ENEL. In this project 27 million devices connected together send real-time electricity meter readings as well as allowing for their remote control.

Basic functions of smart street, squares or park lighting control systems:

  • control of individual street lamps – manual or automatic powering on or off as well as power restriction functions, it is possible to automatically adjust desired illumination level depending on road conditions (increased traffic, reduced visibility as well as extraordinary cases such as night sporting events); in some cases the system cannot dim lighting while maintaining its functionality,

  • lamp clustering according to requirements as well as setting various control algorithms for different groups of lamps; in case the same installation powers both estate streets and busier roads there are different energy saving rules set in both cases to ensure the roads are lit according to the standards,

  • metering electricity consumption of individual lamps, groups of lamps or additional equipment (e.g. Christmas lights) powered by the same power grid; it allows easier billing of operators responsible for lighting in different parts of larger installation. For example, in case when responsibility for lighting a system belongs partly to residents community and partly to a local council, real-time power consumption can be easily read and calculated for each part of a lighting system,

  • detection of correct lamp functionality – in case of system malfunction an operator and service teams can be notified of the need for intervention, e.g. by sending a text message,

  • unauthorised lamp housing opening detection including notification of appropriate services.

The most advanced smart lighting system operates in Oslo and is based on Echelon technology. A few years of the system functioning proved that electricity consumption savings can reach 70% without, unacceptable by the standards, switching the lamps off. However, the system allows for that. In case of necessity for powering off specific streets or even single lamps system operator can switch on or off a lamp or a group of lamps with a single mouse click on a master system computer. System operator also has on-line access to real-time data regarding lamp functioning and electricity meters readings installed in each lamp housing. This allows for easy billing of those responsible for lighting particular parts of a city.

SmartStreetLighting systems introduces number of features to save electricity which can be further extended, practically with no limits, by features and functionalities that have not yet been invented or implemented by system manufacturers.