Lighting Controls, News, Outdoor, Street, Transport

Street lights and electric cars – perfect partners?

A Tesla car charging at a London street light using a Ubitricity smart charging unit.

STREET LIGHTS are ubiquitous in our cities; electric vehicles need lots of charging points. They’re obviously perfect partners – so let’s convert luminaires into filling up points. After all, now that street lights use low-energy LED, the cabling has lots of spare current-carrying capacity.

But it’s not as simple as that. Trials of lamp-post outlets in London over recent years – including Richmond, Hounslow and Westminster – have thrown up lots of technical, practical and interoperability issues.

Dave Franks, asset and infrastructure manager at Westminster City Council, will share his learnings from the London borough’s early trials with the incorporation of electric vehicle charging points in street lighting columns. Pic: Dave Thrower/Redshift Photography

Can we resolve these so that the lighting network can indeed become multifunctional? This is the question that Dave Franks, asset and infrastructure manager at Westminster City Council, will answer at LuxLive 2017. After all, Westminster was one of the first authorities in the UK to trial this approach to residential electric vehicle charging. He will share his experience of these early trials and look at the journey from funding options, resident feedback, technical issues, planning to implementation and feedback for electric vehicle owners.

The presentation takes place at 1.30pm on Thursday 15 November 2017 in the Smart Spaces Conference, which is co-located with the LuxLive exhibition at ExCeL London. Entry is free to engineers and advisors, owners and operators of lighting estates in retail, education, healthcare, outdoor and public realm, industry, transport, highways, commercial, offices and public sector. However it’s essential that you reserve your place and in doing so you will automatically be registered to visit LuxLive.

The Smart Spaces Conference includes sessions on lighting on the rail network, lighting controls on university campuses, smart cities and lighting, lighting’s role in security and surveillance and how embedded sensors can monitor for harsh weather such as snow and floods



  • The electric vehicle and street lights presentation is just one of the sessions at the new Smart  Spaces Conference taking place at the LuxLive 2017 exhibition and conference. It runs on Wednesday 15 November and Thursday 16 November at ExCeL London. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.