A network of smart sensory street lights is being installed in the Kingdom of Swaziland. In the West, smart street lights are being used, in most cases, to monitor traffic, but in developing countries they can be put to an entirely different use altogether.
Not only will the energy saving fixtures save money for the cash strapped Swazi authorities, but they can also assist with the main plank of the county’s economy: agriculture.
The IoT equipped sensory street lights are able to assist with monitoring crops and weather via data analytics. This will help Swaziland’s farming communities by helping to optimise productivity and increase agricultural output.
The street lighting, created by gridComm, features hybrid communication technology, comprised of a next generation multi- channel OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access), power line communication (PLC) transceiver and a wireless physical layer The device uses its PLC and digital power supply technologies to convert traditional street lighting into energy-aware and remotely managed and monitored web-based networks.
As the preferred technology for street light control, PLC is more reliable than wireless technologies, particularly low-power radio frequency technologies, which are more prone to interference in outdoor environments.
Because many IoT sensors run on batteries, hybrid power line and wireless communication technology ensures connectivity between these sensors when they are in the vicinity of smart street lights.
IoT sensors can be introduced to the network as they are needed and the modules are designed to automatically attach to the nearest gateway without onsite tuning or configuration — for true ‘plug-and-play’ connectivity.
Swaziland’s economy lags behind that of its near neighbours Mozambique and South Africa due to low agricultural productivity and a series of droughts. The country is also dealing with a string of public health issues including tuberculosis and an HIV/Aids epidemic. The average life expectancy in the country is just fifty.
- You can find out more about smart lighting at this year’s LuxLive. The event will be held in London on Wednesday 23 November and Thursday 24 November 2016. Registration is free and you can find out more here.