Most utilities have some role in supporting street lights in the municipalities where they operate. In fact, many utilities own at least a portion of a city’s lights. So when there’s a problem with a particular light, it can be difficult to determine who’s responsible. If both the city and utility show up, that wastes time and money.
What if smart street lights could save time, money and more? What if they could shine brighter when they detect bicyclists or pedestrians, dynamically illuminate dangerous junctions, or react in inclement weather? That’s where Silver Spring comes in.
Smart street lighting is one excellent example of the benefits of a city-utility partnership. The technology involved in street lighting is not something a municipality usually has expertise in, and it’s a natural fit for utilities. We work closely with utilities to connect and manage street lighting. We can create a smart Internet Protocol (IP) networked street light deployment while leveraging the same network you’re already using for your smart grid program. Gone are the days of manually inspecting lights at the cost of thousands of man-hours. Outages and voltage problems can be more quickly addressed, which improves reliability and the quality of service for customers. From the smart grid side, adding more communication nodes on the network means that customers can gain better grid reliability, too.
There’s power to partnering with cities to network, not just replace, aging lights with LEDs. Networked street lights can have a profound impact on citizens’ lives while saving approximately 65 percent in energy costs and reducing maintenance by as much as 90 percent.