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The importance of smart street lighting in winter and in crisis

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Street lighting is critical for modern urban areas because it provides needed light during the dark hours of the day. The better a given street space is lit, the fewer opportunities for traffic accidents or criminal acts to exist in that area. That is why, during the winter, good street infrastructure and lighting are especially important.

What Is Smart Street Lighting?

Smart streetlights are gaining popularity in urban planning because they can potentially reduce streetlight operation and maintenance costs, provide additional benefits in terms of safety, security, efficiency, versatility, and scalability, and pave the way for future smart city applications.
Smart streetlighting is defined as a networked-based system of streetlights that are outfitted with sensors and actuators, allowing for a diverse set of capabilities and connectivity interfaces. Smart streetlights use advanced and multi-purpose sensors, actuators, and, in particular, communication infrastructures to illuminate roads, highways, parking lots, and public spaces. Streetlights consume nearly 40% of a city’s electricity budget. Because of environmental concerns and efforts to reduce electricity costs, leveraging advanced streetlight systems with real-time monitoring and energy efficiency capabilities will benefit not only municipalities and utility companies, but also city residents. This advanced system can be achieved using sensory data, resulting in “smart” streetlights with two-way communication capabilities.

Benefits Of Smart Street Lighting

Smart street lighting has a number of advantages, even more so in the current situation with global electricity prices. The high prices forced restrictions on street lighting in a number of municipalities in Bulgaria. The reason was precisely the high electricity prices and the inability of the municipalities to cover these costs. However, integrating a smart street lighting system can help to properly optimize electricity costs, improve infrastructure monitoring, and reduce route losses.
Traditional streetlight systems do not support remote and/or centralized control strategies because they lack communication networks. These legacy technologies typically use light sensors or preset timers to turn on and off streetlights. Traditional control systems are simple and easy to implement, but they are inefficient, unreliable, and out of sync with the smart grid and smart city revolutions. Adding a network interface to streetlights gives systems a one-of-a-kind opportunity to use various control strategies.
Smart streetlights enhance city lighting by allowing dimming and control. Piggybacking on the LED conversion project is the most cost-effective way for a city or utility to deploy a smart street lighting solution. Both tasks can thus be completed during the same truck roll. The incremental smart node’s crew costs are negligible.

Strategy Of Constant Lumen

Using a “constant lumen strategy” yields the greatest benefit from smart street lighting. This entails using a stronger LED than is necessary and then constantly dimming it to the required level of light. This extends the life of the luminaire because the dimming level can be gradually reduced as the luminaire loses strength. In many cases, luminaires can be dimmed to 70% of their full potential while still providing adequate lighting levels. Because many cities already use lights that are initially stronger than necessary (to avoid premature replacement), early-life luminaires consume too much energy and produce too much glare. Dimming can help to solve this problem.

Savings On Dawn/Dusk and Day Burner

Most streetlights can also be dimmed at dawn and dusk when there is still enough light, reducing energy consumption. Smart streetlights can also detect lights that are illuminated during the day (“day burners”). These can be turned off remotely, reducing energy consumption even further.

Off-Season Dimming

Cities may also choose to dim their streetlights during off-peak hours, such as late at night when pedestrian and vehicle traffic is low. Each city can decide whether or not to pursue this option. Cities in our benchmark typically chose to dim between 30-50% between 12am and 5am.

Street Lighting Management System (SLMS) by ADD Bulgaria

ARISTA SLMS enhances traditional street lighting with intelligent functions for remote light control and complex real-time monitoring of lighting infrastructure. The system collects, stores, and analyzes all data to provide a complete picture of lighting states and processes. ARISTA SLMS was created to provide all stakeholders with flexible and efficient street lighting (municipalities, maintenance companies, investors, contractors, and citizens).
Individual lighting controllers (LCUs) are included, as is a controller (SLMB) mounted in the power board for group control and monitoring, as well as a central management software (CMS) with an easy-to-use web-based interface.
The Arista LCU manages the dimming schedule, measures, and transmits data on luminaire operation and status to the Arista CMS via embedded radio nodes. To provide communication coverage for two-way data transfer, all controllers in the system form a mesh network.

Depending on the requirements and street infrastructure, the system allows for individual or group lighting control. Management is done either automatically – according to a predetermined schedule – or manually – according to the needs of the client.
The system provides several opportunities to optimize the processes and costs associated with the maintenance, monitoring of infrastructure and electricity consumption.
ARISTA SLMS reduces street lighting costs through intelligent and flexible lighting management. This improves the efficiency of street lighting, drastically reduces municipal costs for electricity, and reduces the risk of traffic accidents, resulting in greater population security.