Smart streetlights may mean big savings in Cardiff
Smart streetlights may mean big savings in Cardiff
(Credit: Philips Lighting)

Smart streetlights may mean big savings in Cardiff

Cardiff Council is nearing completion of its deployment of a connected lighting system using LED streetlights technology from Philips Lighting.

Street lighting is a significant expense for local authorities, but in Cardiff, Wales, the city council is deploying a connected lighting system from Philips Lighting that official claims will save over £750,000 a year and reduce energy use for public lighting by 60 percent.

The project involves the installation of more than 14,000 connected LED streetlights, organized as a scalable digital infrastructure that can be augmented and upgraded over time.

For example, the streetlights could be equipped with sensors to monitor traffic flow, noise levels and air pollution in the future.

Read more: Smart lights ‘to be most popular IoT device in the next decade’ – Philips

Central control

The LED lighting is monitored and controlled remotely using the Philips CityTouch system for public lighting management.

Launched in 2012, this is apparently the 1,000th deployment of CityTouch, which is used in 37 countries worldwide. Cardiff is joining cities such as Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Jakarta, Los Angeles and Toronto as a CityTouch customer.

With this system, the entire lighting network can be accessed and managed remotely. Accessed through a web browser, the lighting manager has multiple screens and a map-based view of the city’s lighting assets and workflows. They can monitor network performance in near real time, pinpoint faults and dispatch crews to precise locations, eliminating the need for night crews to drive around looking for faulty streetlights.

With all the controls at their fingertips, city lighting managers can dim or increase the brightness of street lights to meet the needs of the city at any given moment. For example, brightness levels can be increased near busy crossings or to help emergency services responding to incidents.

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Lower costs, environmental benefits

Switching to connected LED lighting is expected to reduce electricity used for lighting by 60 percent with estimated savings for Cardiff City Council of more than £750,000 a year. This efficiency will contribute to the UK’s goal to lower CO2 emissions by 34 percent by 2021 and Cardiff’s aspiration to be a one planet city by 2050.

Matthew Wakelam, head of infrastructure and operations at Cardiff Council told Internet of Business, “The main driver for the strategic road LED Street Lighting retrofit was to reduce our energy bill and carbon footprint. However; we were also keen to find a solution that the residents of Cardiff would be happy with; after all, the end users of a street light are the residents that live with them.

“The next phase of the journey is to link lighting as well as other city infrastructure with an open data platform that can be utilised to share vital data and information with both the Council, other public bodies and general public which is part of our long term strategy of making Cardiff a truly smart city.”

Internet of Business also spoke to Peter Zink at Philips Lighting, who told us, “When the City of Cardiff looked at a broad range of factors to renew its public lighting, the top priorities were to ensure maximum benefit for the citizens of Cardiff and to deliver a sustainable and scalable lighting infrastructure that could grow with its needs. Our connected street lighting will contribute to a safer environment for its citizens and will enable the city to achieve savings in energy and enjoy operational efficiencies.”

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