Internet Enabled Consumer Devices

New York plans to replace half a million streetlights with smart lighting

19 June 2020
Connected street lighting could be the first step toward cities in New York becoming smart cities with IoT capabilities and remote management. Source: Signify

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) plans to replace at least half a million streetlights with energy-efficient and connected light emitting diode (LED) lighting.

The NYPA is teaming with Signify for connected LED luminaires and Interact City internet of things (IoT) lighting systems to help cities reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint as well as offer new features for consumers. So far, more than 50,000 LED streetlights have been installed or are about to be installed under the program.

“In addition to illumining roadways, street lighting systems are essential vertical assets in smart city deployments,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Municipalities can save money on their utility bills and maintenance costs by adopting connected LED lighting while leveraging the value of their street lighting systems for additional benefits.”

As part of the project, NYPA is offering municipalities low-rate loans for lighting conversions, including the option to buy the physical street lighting assets from local utilities.

“Urbanization, digitalization and sustainability continue to drive key actions associated with Smart City engagement, even in today’s climate, said Martin Stephenson, head of North America's systems and services at Signify. “Through NYPA and Signify’s shared vision, communities can improve light quality, generate significant energy savings, and improve citizen safety and wellbeing using leading edge technologies.”

Enabling smart cities

Smart lighting is one of the important aspects of a total smart city ecosystem and can be the foundation for city-wide connected infrastructure.

Once installed, connected streetlights can be added with sensors to monitor aspects of the system and environment, improving urban quality of life and management. Deploying a tilt/vibration and noise sensors on connected streetlights can help protect roads and drivers by rectifying streetlights and poles when they are out of position and identify areas where noise reduction is needed.

Additionally, open APIs can be collected through sensors to allow firefighters, emergency medical services and other first responders to react more quickly when incidents occur. Wi-Fi transmitters could also be installed on connected streetlights to give connectivity in city areas where connectivity is weak or does not exist. Eventually streetlights could even act as charging stations for electric vehicles.

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