Following on from the worlds biggest changeover from incandescent lights to LED street lamps so far, Los Angeles are now going one step further in setting an example of how to take control of their street lighting systems.
Phillips are partnering with the city of Los Angeles to connect the cities 110,000 street lamps to the city’s Bureau of Street Lighting. This will allow the street lamps to be wireless controlled. This means they can be dimmed and brightened when required and even report faults automatically, cutting costs and running more efficiently.
Los Angeles is not the only place adopting this technology. Madrid and Buenos Aries have also been rolling out street lighting upgrades to LED, both cities planning on setting up smart lighting systems allowing the lights to be brightened and dimmed remotely, Madrid’s new street lighting is costing $160 million to roll out, however they will save $130 million over the next eight years in lower energy and reduced maintenance costs. Given these lights will last considerably longer than the lights they’re replacing they will easily pay for themselves over the coming years.
While local councils around the UK are split over turning street lights off overnight or making the switch to LED lighting, these large cities are leading in a way many other areas will follow over the next few years. However a complete roll out of LED street lighting will take years to complete and most UK councils haven’t even started planning or budgeting for a LED street lighting solution.
Going even further, Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde has created what he calls the Van Gough path. Inspired by Vincent Van Gough’s art, these smart lighting paths are embedded with stones that charge up solar energy during the day and produce a soft glowing light at night creating a safe and beautiful lighting effect. This is a very new concept in lighting and is currently only on two cycle paths in the Netherlands. However, as the cost of this technology comes down, there’s no reason why this kind of lighting technology can be used to safely light up pedestrian and cycle paths around the world.