Large-scale smart infrastructure project begins in China

10 February 2023
Using smart poles, smart streetlights and connected lighting, Huanggang City could save as much as 50% energy consumption and provide a path toward future smart cities. Source: Signify

A large-scale smart infrastructure project has begun in Huanggang City, China, to save energy costs and emissions while digitalizing the urban infrastructure.

As part of the project, Signify will provide the city in the Hubei Province with light emitting diode (LED) street lighting, smart poles and a connected lighting system for industrial parks.

The combination of smart poles, connected PhilipsLED streetlights and connected lighting allows for improved control over lighting and energy savings but also provides two-way communication on a cloud-based platform. Signify’s platform can optimize street lighting performance and measure energy use in real time from a remote dashboard. It allows municipalities to detect and act on any maintenance needs and bring down costs on energy-related emissions.

The digitalization of Huanggang City’s street lighting is part of China’s dual carbon national goals, which the country aims to reach peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060. Converting public lights to LED street lighting platforms could reduce energy consumption by as much as 50% over conventional lighting. This could further be reduced with connected lighting that can dim and detect the presence of citizens.

More than lighting

The smart lighting provides additional functions than just lighting. The smart poles integrate security cameras, environmental sensors, Wi-Fi and other devices to collect city data and enable remote management and data analysis.

This allows city planners and municipalities to have information about infrastructure and energy for urban planning, safety and traffic management. This will be a cornerstone to future smart city projects, Signify said.

The technology can integrate LED screens into the smart poles for displaying information to citizens such as the date, time, weather, real-time temperature or city information. It could also help in terms of keeping the city citizens up to date in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency situation.

Other smart lighting projects

As part of the move to provide more smart city features, smart lighting is becoming a popular starting point for many cities due to its ease of use to swap the devices. Additionally, it provides a path toward enabling other functions in the coming years.

Last year, a project involved using streetlight platforms to integrate Wi-Fi, 4K cameras, directional microphones and neural artificial intelligence processors. This would allow cities and law enforcement to transform existing streetlights into a network of connected digital assets.

Signify and the Smart City Infrastructure Fund demonstrated how smart lamp posts can tackle tasks such as overcrowding, traffic management and body temperature detection. This came as the world was still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and looking for ways to help improve the situation through technology.

Smart lighting and streetlights have also become an important way for cities to increase 5G infrastructure with the deployment of small cells that boost signals inside cities where they may have trouble moving through buildings, trees and other objects.

Telensa and Eaton Lighting collaborated on a project to integrate lighting, control and smart city solutions using existing streetlight infrastructure to serve as a way for municipalities to save on energy but also put them on a path toward smart city applications.

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