More than just light
Street lamps are becoming multi-function stations for smart cities. They can be used as charging stations for electric vehicles, WLAN nodes, measuring stations or emergency telephones.
In Europe alone, around ten million street lamps will be replaced or repaired over the next few years. This modernisation now gives local authorities the chance to go beyond saving energy and costs and to develop innovative, digital urban infrastructure. Street lamps are becoming multi-functional masts: equipped with everything from public WLAN, emergency call functions, sensors for measuring pollutants and CO2, traffic flow measurement and control instruments, they are accelerating the digitisation of the urban environment.
“The municipality places a great deal of importance on sustainability in all urban projects. As we had to modernise the lighting for one of the most major streets in the city, we opted for intelligent street lighting. It allows us to save energy and increase public safety.”
The Dutch municipality of Schiedam, for example, has equipped two streets with intelligent street lighting from the company Tvilight. Wireless sensors on the street lamps detect whether a pedestrian, cyclist or car is approaching and adjust the light accordingly. If someone is in the vicinity of the lamp, it powers up and if the street is empty, it dims – this effect is known as “light on demand”. Public lighting accounts for around 60 per cent of electricity costs in European cities.
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