In the face of urbanization, we confront a challenge that goes beyond the mere provision of light: how to make our cities not only bright but intelligent. This is the dilemma we face as we delve into the realm of smart cities, where street lighting emerges as a protagonist in the landscape of transformations.

Imagine walking through streets that not only illuminate the path but also communicate, interconnect services, and promote a comprehensive sense of security.

It is in this context that the challenge arises: how can we harness the full potential of street lighting to create more efficient, connected, and 21st-century-adapted cities?

This article unravels the vital importance of street lighting in the context of smart cities, exploring how the evolution of management technologies has intertwined with energy efficiency, connectivity, and substantial improvement in urban quality of life.

What is the importance of street lighting in smart cities?

An efficient Street Lighting Management system brings a series of benefits to the population. It enhances the feeling of security in the city, provides more comfort for everyone, improves nighttime traffic, reduces expenses, and so forth.

With the replacement of traditional sodium vapor lamps with LED models, street lighting has become the gateway to intelligent systems in cities. This is because its infrastructure can be utilized to connect different services in the locality.

In addition to emitting fewer pollutants and being more economical and efficient, LED lamps enable the implementation of Internet of Things (IoT) projects for the creation of smart cities.

Why is energy the foundation of smart cities?

LED lamps scattered throughout cities can be used to create a network that transports data and aggregates services. To achieve this, they are equipped with smart devices and sensors. These accessories communicate with software that receives and interprets the information sent by them.

The sensors used can capture data about the performance of the lamp and what is happening in the environment where it is located. This is where IoT comes in: one of the applications of this technology is precisely the creation of smart cities, as it allows various devices to send and receive data over the internet.

After capturing relevant information, the devices send it to a control system, which can use it for various purposes and applications. One of them is to bring more efficiency to street services.

Among the possibilities, we can highlight:

  • Sending messages to mobile phones in specific tourist regions;
  • Alerts about disasters and floods;
  • Offering commercial services in an area to attract more customers;
  • Controlling traffic lights and monitoring vehicles in traffic;
  • Increasing security through gunshot detectors;
  • Alerting drivers about available parking spaces in their vicinity;
  • Monitoring environmental factors, such as street cleanliness and air quality.

How is energy efficiency in smart cities?

Energy efficiency is one of the main advantages of smart cities. In addition to the energy savings provided by LED lamps, the use of telegestion technology allows further reduction in consumption through dynamic lighting control.

With it, it is possible to remotely manage the city’s light points through communication between the accessories installed in the luminaires and the Street Lighting Management software used to control them. The technology offers various functionalities to reduce energy expenditure, such as:

  • Checking whether a lamp is on or off.
  • Adjusting the light intensity according to the demand of the location.
  • Turning on the lamps only at necessary times.
  • Monitoring energy consumption at each point.
  • Discovering if the lamp is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Thus, expenses on street lighting are reduced, and the saved resources can be invested in other areas.

What are the challenges of smart cities?

The main challenges for the implementation of intelligent systems in cities are the necessary investments and the lack of knowledge about the benefits they offer. As it is an innovative idea, many street entities still do not know how to use smart devices to solve problems in their areas.

Smart cities require a significant initial investment for project implementation. However, they bring excellent returns in the long term due to energy savings. Therefore, the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) is already taking steps to encourage projects in this area.

Additionally, street entities need to change their perspective and realize that smart cities can benefit them and the population. With an interconnected city and automated Street Lighting Management, it is possible to save, be more organized, and provide a higher quality service to citizens.

How to prepare for smart cities?

The transformation of cities requires companies to innovate their services through technology to better serve municipalities. In addition to investing in equipment necessary for project implementation, it is essential to use software that allows leveraging all the benefits of the system.

The use of such a tool brings more efficiency to the company. With it, it is possible to always monitor the city’s light points and access functionalities such as automatic detection of equipment defects, monitoring the energy performance of lamps, and more.

Thus, expenses can be reduced, and the need for repairs to light points can be identified without waiting for citizens to make a complaint, for example. In other words, it is easier to maintain service quality and ensure street satisfaction with street lighting.

Smart cities are already a reality, and the trend is for more and more municipalities to decide to adopt this model. After all, they offer various benefits for everyone, and it is necessary to be prepared to use their resources in the best way.

Want to know more about the subject? Check out our other articles on smart cities.