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How power-line communication is helping China embrace streetlighting controls

Foshan City in China's Guangdong Province, where 50,000 'smart' streetlights are being installed

Power-line communication is allowing some of China’s biggest cities to embrace LED streetlighting and controls.

The technology allows lights to be controlled using signals sent over existing power lines – so no new wiring or antennas are required.

Over the last few years Guangdong Rongwen Lighting Co, working with US controls provider Echelon, has installed more than 130,000 ‘smart’ streetlights in Guangdong Province – China’s most populous. 

Foshan, a city of around seven million people in central Guangdong Province, is currently installing 50,000 LED lights, while Dongguan in the Pearl River Delta, part of an urban area that’s home to 25 million people, is also using the technology.

Rongwen says its system has a larger installed base in China than any other single lighting solution.

The system can control individual luminaires in real time, enabling big savings in energy consumption.

Controllers for a segment of streetlights can be placed within one of the luminaires or at the bottom of a column for easy access.