When one thinks of large-scale projects for a city or town, the first thought that comes to mind is often a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new bridge or school. However, it is usually the smaller, less visible projects that offer a more significant financial and overall value to the residents.
One such project is to upgrade the many lighting systems that a city uses to "smart systems." These systems involve first allowing the devices to send/receive information, then use it to improve their overall usage. One can apply this to all sorts of lights used by a city, including streets and roadways, parking lots at government facilities, pathways and trails and more.
The reason why these solutions offer such tremendous value to a city is the fact that they provide many financial and lifestyle improvements for the residents.
Studies have shown that crime goes up in areas with a high number of burnt out or underperforming lights. Unfortunately, it was not always easy for a city to know the status of all of the lights they use, which often number into the tens of thousands.
By notifying the Operations team of a light that is not performing as desired, cities can ensure that lights are fixed before they completely go out, which improves safety for the residents and city staff.
Reduced power usage/greenhouse emissions
Having an area well-lit is a good thing, but only if people are there to use it. Many lights do not need to be on all night- they can be switched on based on time of day or presence of a human. Smart systems improve on both of these options.
City employees can turn on lights based on an expected booking, such as for a playing field and can remotely turn them off once everyone has left. Remote light controls both reduce unnecessary uptime and possibly a trip out by an employee. Many lights in areas such as parks can be set to only turn on based on motion, reducing their usage when no one is there.
Reduced capital cost / more efficient use of resources
Today, many municipalities use a pre-set schedule for replacing/upgrading lighting systems. However, this means that some lights may be prematurely changed while others have been burnt out well before their change.
The combination of smart lights with data analysis software allows for a much better strategic plan for Operations staff. This allows for lighting to be changed only when they are not performing well, improving the overall capital expenditure budget.
In short, now is the time for cities to invest in smart lighting systems. Many areas are not seeing as much traffic as before, so the disruption to the residents will be minimized. Lighting systems may not be as "sexy" as a new bridge, but they make a significant improvement in any city's day-to-day life.
From time to time, we like to feature one of our end customers for their contribution to the IoT world. One such customer is DimOnOff, a pioneer of remote control & monitoring technologies and is among the top players in the smart city management market.
Headquartered in Quebec City, Canada, DimOnOff is the result of more than 12 years of investment in R & D to create the ultimate IoT, Smart City Management System "SCMS."
We encourage you to check out www.DimOnOff.com for software, relays, controls, sensors and cellular communications equipment needed to power smart cities.