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Melbourne aims to kick-start smart street lighting

Melbourne is aiming to become one of the first cities in Australia to adopt so-called smart city technology

Street lighting experts, specifiers and municipalities are gathering in Melbourne this week to ready the city for the smart lighting revolution.

The discussions will centre around ‘killer applications’ for smart cities, especially street lighting opportunities and technologies. Speakers include influential figures such as Leni Schwendinger, urban lighting specialist at Arup and curator of the prestigious Lighting magazine, and Michael Sparrow, senior lighting design engineer at Lend Lease.  The Australian Smart Lighting Summit – which  takes place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 8 and 9 September – is now in its third year, but it takes place against the backdrop and a massively increased interest in the concept of smart cities.

Endorsed by City of Melbourne, the event is an opportunity for local government organisations and lighting designers to embrace smart lighting technologies within the realm of government and industrial design.

Expected to attend are lighting designers, architects, engineers, consultants and developers, to share ideas on how best to embrace smart lighting innovations and practices. Some 40 councils from all over Australia are also participating.

Australia has witnessed a host of significant lighting projects in recent years with The Great South Coast Street Smart Lighting Program which has seen up to 7,500 street lights replaced with energy efficient lighting in residential streets across the South West Region, as well the upcoming Lighting The Regions project which plans to oversee the replacement of almost 23,000 council street lights to more energy efficient alternatives.

Ian Dryden, senior industrial designer, City of Melbourne, will be exploring the Implementation of City Lighting and how it reflects on our lives while Schwendinger will explore the ways in which light can be used to spark our night skies. Her intensive work into the sphere of design encompasses more than 20 years creating architectural and infrastructure environments all over the world. Sparrow will be sharing his visions in A Lighting Journey through Darling Harbour Live, exploring unique ideas into lighting design for the public realm.

In 2012 the City of Mississauga embarked on an LED conversion project involving the replacement of more than 53,000 LED fixtures and 160 gateways. Canadian technology angel investor and serial-entrepreneur Bernard Tetu, President, DimOnOff, has been responsible for the preparation, deployment and monitoring of the project and will be presenting Smart Lighting a Backbone for Smart Cities Infrastructure and Internet of Things.

Picture: Chris Phutully