Using smart lighting in smart cities means implementing new devices and new services.
Smart lighting and smart cities share the same characteristics – they are digital, interconnected, efficient, sustainable and designed and developed to meet the needs of the citizen in terms of well-being and safety.
Intelligent illumination plays a primary role in smart cities since it not only saves on energy but also provides and guarantees services that are fundamental for the management of the cities of the future.
Using smart lighting in smart cities and relative intelligent sensory systems supports the proper management and organisation of urban spaces through:
- Surveillance of the territory;
- Environmental and/or weather monitoring;
- Control of traffic and public transport routes;
- Control of car parks;
- Fire or smoke detection;
- Control of municipal waste collection;
- Detection of anomalous oscillations and possible earthquakes.
Smart lighting is set to play an increasingly significant role within the urban reality of the smart city. It will perform the crucial function of advanced lighting control and of raising energy efficiency levels. Thanks to networking and widespread distribution throughout the territory, smart lighting will enable the collection of useful information and data for efficient management of the smart city. Ultimately, smart lighting in smart cities ensures road safety, personal safety, environmental safety and the creation of an urban context.
Smart lighting can even be a significant catalyst for the evolution of IoT, supporting the rapid development of the smart city concept globally.
Smart lighting is a significant investment in the development of a smart city. One of the most important objectives in the use of intelligent lighting is energy savings, achieved by adopting efficient management and control technology involving the programming of luminaires with a sensor system interconnected to the network.
Remote control and remote management of smart lighting fixtures thus enable the handling and control of the fixtures installed within smart cities. Specifically, the intelligent control and regulation of the luminous flux of the luminaires allows for continuous dimming from zero to 100 per cent, with proportional energy savings.
The remote-control technology of the line allows for the monitoring and analysing of the performance of the entire intelligent lighting system line, checking consumption trends and electrical quantities at a panel level so as to ensure efficiency and energy savings.
Point-to-point control technology facilitates management and diagnostics of the luminaire installed at the individual lighting point. This makes it possible to obtain useful information regarding the functioning of the luminaire and to intervene opportunely.
The use of intelligent sensors applied to the luminaires permits real-time adjustment of the luminous flux on the basis of the amount of daylight, also enabling remote control of the switching on or off of the lighting systems. This is a very functional energy-saving solution given that the correct ignition can save between 7 and 10 per cent in energy on average.
New intelligent lighting systems connected with IoT technology provide advanced lighting system management, ensuring energy savings and the continuous monitoring of each luminaire installed, allowing for the monitoring of consumption trends and operation.
Large Italian cities have made a commitment to environmental sustainability. This is the case, for example, in the city of Milan where CO2 savings in emissions amounted to 23 tonnes whilst energy savings reached 50 per cent.
An intelligent lighting system helps the environment and reduces CO2. In addition to having a longer life cycle, intelligent lighting consumes less energy than a conventional system and thus significantly lowers carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, further generating energy savings.
Improving the quality of life and safety of citizens are just some of the objectives of the smart city.
Smart lighting makes the smart city safe through the use of innovative tools for surveillance of the territory and assistance to citizens, ensuring a higher degree of safety. Availing of networked cameras and audio solutions renders it possible to collect data and information that, coupled with smart lighting sensors, can measure the environmental conditions of the smart city, for example.
The use of smart lighting sensory systems in smart cities has the advantage of:
- Facilitating the detection of potential dangers and the recognition of false alarms;
- Monitoring areas where flooding is likely to occur, such as near streams or rivers;
- Preventing earthquakes by using a vibration monitoring and control system in historic buildings;
- Preventing fires, thanks to the possibility of detecting flames and smoke with subsequent communication of the alarm to the fire brigade and authorities.
Environmental monitoring is yet another objective of the smart city. One advantage in availing of intelligent lighting sensors lies in their monitoring of weather conditions, air and water quality and other parameters such as humidity, temperature and the level of carbon dioxide in the environment, along with other harmful gases. This makes it possible to assess any anomalies in the environment and ensure that pollution is kept at an acceptable level. In particular, reducing the level of carbon emissions, as one of the main objectives of smart cities.
Smart lighting in the smart city futher involves the use of movement control devices for public transport and surveillance systems to improve traffic management and urban mobility, with a view to offering safety and assistance to citizens. In addition, road networks, intersections and the way people move within the smart city can also be monitored.
This even includes parking management within the smart city since intelligent lighting sensors can guide drivers towards open spaces. Effective parking management is essential in increasingly crowded and congested cities.
Smart lighting in the smart city combined with Wi-Fi connection systems develops a synergetic relationship, benefiting municipalities and citizens alike. The aim is to utilise the existing smart lighting infrastructure to host and power Wi-Fi hotspots and to account for their consumption.
The Wi-Fi hotspot then provides other connected services that are part of the smart city paradigm, such as smart totems within the vicinity, smart lighting itself and traffic management sensors, to name a few.