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Intelligent lighting of the roads drives us to smart cities and sustainability

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Nowadays citizens expect a lot from their cities, and they want to get provided with robust, user-friendly innovative and intelligent services, ranging from collaboration tools, intuitive websites, self-service portals, mobile applications and many others. Technologies are invading our lives and providing digital services in the urban life which can make the city more attractive for the people to reside in it.

Smart city applications can help cities operate more efficiently while improving services to citizens and businesses, among many other benefits. While the definition of a smart city is still evolving, a few things have become clear: Smart cities leverage information and communication technologies to enhance service levels, citizen well-being, sustainability, and economic development. Smart city technology can make cities more effective and efficient, which is necessary given the projected rapid growth in urban populations over the next few decades.

Make the first step with smart street lighting

Smart street lighting

Street lighting is a key public service provided by public authorities at the local and municipal level. Good lighting is essential for road safety, personal safety and urban ambience. However, many street lighting facilities are outdated and therefore highly inefficient. This leads to higher energy requirements and levels of maintenance. For a number of municipalities which have outdated systems, street lighting can account for as much as 30-50% of their entire power.

Implementation of smart lighting system can make the lighting network more efficient while allowing for more control, real-time data and improved safety and security. Intelligent lighting systems have an integrated approach which includes:

  • Save energy;
  • Reduce maintenance and management costs;
  • Increase the quality of lighting;
  • Facilitate expansion and improve infrastructure monitoring and management;
  • Increase safety and security on the streets and roads;
  • Reduce harmful emissions as a result of more economical electricity consumption;
  • Provide additional services in the urban environment through the use of innovative street lighting technology.

ADD Bulgaria offers a smart street lighting solution – Arista SLMS. It builds upon traditional street lighting with smart functions for remote management of lights and real-time monitoring of the entire electrical and lighting infrastructure. The system collects, stores, and analyzes all data, providing comprehensive picture of the public lighting states and processes. Arista SLMS is designed to achieve flexible and efficient operation of the streetlights for all stakeholders (municipalities, maintenance companies, investors, contractors, and citizens alike).

Why is smart lighting system the starting point of a smart city?

Smart city lighting

Public lighting represents one of the most excellently powered grids, spread across towns and cities throughout the globe. It’s like the nervous system of the city connecting million streetlights worldwide with access to power. No wonder they are becoming a very sought-after asset of the city, enabling an IoT platform that can serve many current and future urban solutions. Each individual light is able to be modified as a single element, or part of the wider system.

By connecting each lighting pole to a wider network connection, each luminaire becomes smart and part of an Internet of Things (IoT) platform, a plug-in-and-play IoT base acting as a catalyst for additional smart city investment.

With a safe and secure connection already present via the lighting system, advertising boards can be added to the network, offering a range of benefits from public safety to revenue options.

Using the already established communication network you can implement new solutions:

  • Smart systems for tunnel lighting
  • Smart parking systems
  • Smart systems for
  • Resource management
  • Smart watering systems
  • Smart waste management systems
  • Smart system for
  • Environment analysis

Smart city is a better city

Advancements in “big data”, digitalization of the processes and connected devices have allowed cities access to information that’s never been available before. A well-designed data analytics strategy gives city officials the ability to access and analyze a massive amount of information — and easily glean meaningful, actionable insights. When a city can monitor desired metrics in real-time, service levels quickly rise.

Various applications of the smart city

Smart parking management

Effective big data applications and strategies provide a city with information to identify and staff police in high-risk areas, for example, as well as forecast and plan for expansion in citywide population growth and identify trends in citizen interests, concerns, and needs. Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) offer endless possibilities to enable stronger decision-making. This in turn enhances the lives of residents by cutting costs and improving services.

Technologies such as intelligent traffic signals optimize traffic flow, relieving congestion during peak travel times. Other smart transportation technologies, such as smart parking management, allow cities to capitalize on additional revenue streams. Reduced congestion, growth in autonomous vehicles, and efficient vehicle routing all reduce vehicle-related space needs in urban areas, potentially expanding the land use for development.

Smart city technology has the ability to create a more equitable environment for citizens. To ensure digital equity, individuals must have access to high-speed internet services and to affordable devices. The adoption of public Wi-Fi hotspots strategically placed throughout a city can offer reliable internet services to all residents. The street lighting infrastructure can be used for such hotspots.

With a limited supply of natural resources available to meet human demand, smart technologies are giving cities the tools needed to effectively conserve and reduce the inadvertent waste of water and electricity. Smart sensors now allow cities to quickly identify leaks in pipes and fix damaged segments in a shortened time frame, reducing the amount of water lost. Smart electric grids also allow for two-way communication between electricity providers and consumers to help better identify times of peak usage and outages.

The public investment in smart city technology has a large potential multiplier effect. Many private sector companies are also teaming up with local governments to invest millions of dollars in smart city infrastructure and initiatives. Smart city investments are playing an increasingly important role in enhancing cities’ regional and global competitiveness to attract new residents and businesses. Providing an open data platform with access to city information, businesses are better able to make informed decisions through data analytics from integrated smart city technologies.