News, Outdoor

Massachusetts cities hand over their streetlights

And the lights all went out to a service provider in Massachusetts: At least they did in Fitchburg (above) and in Randolph, two small cities that have handed over streetlight operations to Silver Spring.

The Bee Gees probably didn’t have the small cities of Fitchburg and Randolph in mind when they wrote the words and the lights all went out in Massachusetts.

But a modern day rewrite might have it that the lights all went out to a service provider in those two municipalities.

Fitchburg and Randolph, both in Massachusetts, have become the latest examples of lighting users that will not outright pay for their lights. Rather they will pay for the light they use, in deals they each signed with ‘lighting as a service’ provider Silver Spring Networks.

‘Silver Spring, in partnership with LightSmart, will deploy, manage and operate the intelligent streetlight networks for the cities, allowing each municipality to reduce upfront capital costs and operational expenditures,’ Silver Spring said in a press release.

The California-based company uses a wireless ‘mesh’ network to intelligently control streetlights, turning them on and off and changing their brightness according to needs. 

It also aims to use the same network to support other city services, not just lighting. It is currently deploying intelligent controls for streetlights in Paris, for instance.

Fitchburg and Randolph are consideraby smaller with populations of around 40,000 and 32,000, respectively. Both are transformed former industrial towns. Fitchburg is a former paper mill center in north central Massachusetts. Randolph, a Boston suburb of around 32,000, used to be full of shoe factories.

Both are now forging ahead into the era of modern streetlighting.

Other recent lighting as a service examples include Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, which is working with providers Philips and Cofely.

Photo is from Doug Kerr via Flickr