Smart Lighting Smart Cities

There has been a lot of talk about smart cities. So, what does that mean for smart lighting? Melissa Strait explains in this blog.

Aberdeen_5GYou’re in a new section of town, it’s late, you’re lost, the street light above you flickers and you have no bars on your phone…seems like the start of a horror story, but the only scary thing is outdated technology. Smart cities and smart lighting are evolving to create a safer more connected environment. In the not so distant future, there will be no bad sections of town.

CLICK TO TWEET: Smart Lighting is part of a larger plan of developing smart cities through M2M and IoT.

Smart streetlights are anticipated to reach 42% penetration globally by 2026[1]. That’s roughly 139 million streetlights. Currently, the U.S., China, and UK are leading in the streetlight markets, but large-scale roll outs are planned in India, South Korea, and Turkey. Countries with high electricity prices will benefit the most from smart lighting. The main cost savings is reducing energy costs by dimming 30-50% when not in high use. This reduces light pollution in concentrated areas, while still providing light for safety. In fact, in cases of emergency, smart lighting could be turned on to brighten areas, helping police and safety forces do their job more efficiently.

But smarter cities know that shutting down a huge section of road to install new energy efficient lights means a lot of labor costs. To make it worth the cost (and so they don’t have to do it again in a couple years) cities are installing wireless mesh networks to enhance IoT communications. High-latency IoT will assist in weather, trash collection monitoring and noise detection for planning during extreme events like flooding, traffic accidents, and other extreme events.

Smart Lighting is part of a larger plan of developing smart cities through M2M and IoT. It requires a vast and varied communications structure. Cable and fibers, as well as antennas and wireless networks are two areas where CommScope excels and can provide to proper infrastructure to assist in smart city development. The smartest cities know if they run fiber while installing efficient lighting, they will be ready for anything. Fiber to the pole will allow for 5G and next-gen technology. Future IoT and critical communications need high bandwidth, which is something a wired and fixed wireless network with small cells can offer. More cameras need more bandwidth, especially for real-time streaming. High definition cameras can be the new meter maids, and a 24/7 neighborhood watch. As autonomous vehicles become an increasing reality, these cars will communicate high bandwidth IoT to the traffic signals to make sure the route is clear and connect with other autonomous cars. The city of the future is led by fiber and smart lighting. Besides cost savings for lights alone, real-time awareness of city utilities will communicate power outages, broken water mains, and emergency situations quicker and allow them to be fixed with greater efficiency. Understanding utilities and consumption could reduce pollution, emissions, and environmental and city costs.

CommScope is assisting cities in deploying connectivity as the fourth utility as they transition to a smart city. With CommScope, connecting smart lighting is only the first step in a brighter future. Nothing scary about that.

[1] “Global LED and Smart Street Lighting: Market Forecast (2016-2026)” October 2016, Northeast Group, llc,