IoT/Smart Lighting, News, Outdoor, Transport

Smart lights will monitor wind, traffic, waste and air

Rettendon Turnpike in Essex. The councils are currently scouting for suitable locations for the smart lights trial.

A STREET lighting installation in England will feature ‘super smart’ luminaires which will monitor their environment.

The light fixtures in Essex and Hertfordshire will:

•    look for blocked street drains and even predict flooding it happens

 •    instantly alert the highways team of high winds, and predict dangerous driving conditions

•    measure traffic flows and dim unnecessary streetlighting on empty roads

 •    monitor how full waste bins are

 •    detect air quality and supply street-by-street status reports

Oh, and they’ll illuminate the roads.

The councils are currently assessing the suitability of three sites in Hertfordshire and Essex towns. The pilot installation is due to commence this month and will run initially for two months.

The project, a partnership with Cambridge-based technology firm Telensa, will assess the potential quality-of-life and economic benefits of a range of smart city technologies.

Both Essex and Hertfordshire councils were early adopters of Telensa’s wireless streetlight controls, which pay for themselves and save money every year, by reducing energy consumption and enabling a more efficient maintenance operation.

They also recognised that by harnessing their county-wide lighting networks, they could introduce new smart city monitoring services at a fraction of the cost.    

It’s not just about the operational benefits.  Infrastructure monitoring builds up a vast data set that can be used to spot trends across departments, leading to better decision making and more joined-up working.

Cllr Ian Grundy, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways, told Lux: ‘I am extremely excited about the benefits this trial offers by using technology to deliver more for less for our residents.

‘We currently rely on inspections and residents reporting issues, like blocked drains, to us across more than 5,000 miles of roads in Essex.

‘The potential to monitor issues remotely will not only save taxpayers money, it will also improve our reaction times and allow us to fix issues before they become a problem.

‘Last summer we became the first authority in the country to install smart streetlights which offer the potential to monitor pollution, create Wi-Fi hotspots and even guide driverless vehicles in the future. These are now being rolled out across Essex by Ringway Jacobs crews and we believe this work will really complement the smart city partnership work we are doing with Hertfordshire County Council and Telensa.’

Ralph Sangster, executive member for Highways at Hertfordshire County Council, said: ‘Smart technology is becoming an essential tool in delivering a high quality highways services and “Safe Smart” is an exciting opportunity to trial a modern technology which reinforces Hertfordshire County Council’s ongoing commitment to maintain and improve roads for the benefit of all Hertfordshire residents.

‘We have already converted around 65,000 of our street slights to LED and are in the process of converting the remainder, some 50,000, by March 2020. These LED lights are controlled by a wireless Central Management System (CMS), which detects faulty lights and enables changes to be made to light settings with the flick of a switch at a central point. Therefore many faults will be resolved before anyone notices. LEDs not only use much less energy but also emit less CO2 than conventional lamps, helping to cut the county council’s carbon tax contribution.’

Will Gibson, founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Telensa, said: ‘Hertfordshire and Essex are pioneers of smart street lighting, and between them already use Telensa technology to control 250,000 streetlights.  This project will show the community and financial benefits unlocked by adding new sensor applications to the Telensa streetlight network.’

  • The Safer Cities conference takes place as part of the LuxLive 2018 exhibition and conference at ExCeL London on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 15 November 2018. Entry is free if you pre-register HERE.


Main pic: Rob Walker via WikiMedia Commons 2017