IoT/Smart Lighting, Outdoor

Lighting helps Cologne to become a smart city

The floodlit bridge and cathedral of Cologne
The city of Cologne is using Signify’s Interact City system, which enables RheinEnergie to continuously monitor and manage all the lights from a central dashboard.

THE CITY of Cologne has begun to successively convert its more than 85,000 public lighting points to digital and networked lighting as part of its strategy to become a ‘smart city’.

The strategy is to improve the safety and quality of life of the citizens of the German metropolis, increase the city’s energy efficiency and reduce costs.

The system can also accommodate the integration of sensors into the luminaires, providing data that offer environmental benefits that go beyond lighting.

RheinEnergie, which is responsible for the city’s lighting, will replace all the light points with connected luminaires within the next 15 years.

Cologne, Germany’s fourth largest city, is one of the nation’s leading cities in the field of digitalisation. 

Together with energy partner RheinEnergie and other participating companies, associations and institutions, it’s committed to becoming one of Germany’s first smart cities. 

‘Public lighting is essential for people to feel comfortable in a city. This is why we have always been involved in this area in a variety of ways,’ said Dr. Andreas Cerbe, RheinEnergie’s network director.

The city is using Signify’s Interact City system, which enables RheinEnergie to continuously monitor and manage all the lights from a central dashboard. 

The system allows for the integration of sensors on the luminaires, e.g. for measuring environmental data or traffic flows, thus providing data for future urban development. Pictures © 2020 by Jörg Hempel; www.joerg-hempel-com

This makes planning of maintenance and repairs more efficient and provides the company with information and data on the performance and status of the light points for analyses, reports and evaluations.

Additionally, the system allows for the integration of sensors on the luminaires, e.g. for measuring environmental data or traffic flows, thus providing data for future urban development. 

Thanks to open interfaces (APIs), the system is also integrated into RheinEnergie’s SAP system, combining luminaire inventory data with its accounting and purchasing data. 

Interact City is a connected lighting system that allows public light points, such as streetlights, to be networked together and remotely monitored and controlled via a central dashboard. 

This enables cities and municipalities to individually control the lighting levels of light points and better manage their lighting assets.

A central aspect of city lighting is the safety and sense of security of the citizens. 

On top of preventing risks by illuminating lonely places such as parks or tunnels at night, connected lighting can also be adapted to special requirements and events.

Lighting can be immediately adjusted to a brighter level if necessary, allowing the system to react to events that affect the safety of citizens.

For example, the lighting turned up to help the emergency services to respond to call-outs.