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Why smart cities should start with street lighting

With the population levels in cities across the world growing, local authorities are adopting new technological advances to help them be more efficient. An intelligent street lighting infrastructure is the easiest way for local authorities to begin their smart city journey.

According to analyst Northeast group, 89% of the world’s 363 million street lights will have been converted to LED by 2027, however, only 29% of them will be connected.

This global phenomenon has helped to make centrally-controlled connected street lights the first smart city application to be deployed at scale.

Here are some reasons why starting with street lighting is a good way to start a smart city solution.

Tall

The first reason why street lighting is a great starting point is their height. Lighting columns are tall, and therefore provide an excellent place to position sensors. Mounting them high is an important aspect of collecting and transmitting data.

Already exist

Street lighting systems are already in existence - where people congregate to live, work, play or travel, there is already street lights. They are permanent fixtures that are a common feature throughout cities, making them a great ready-made infrastructure. This allows local authorities to implement new technology without the need for a new infrastructure.

Fixed

Street lights are fixed in a certain area and often aren’t moved. This can help provide local authorities with a set of reliable reference point data, which helps them while analysing data and recognising trends over a period of time.

Other services

Once street lights have been equipped with new technologies, other smart city applications can be installed on them as well. This helps local authorities implement smart city strategies with less hassle.

Safe and secure

High above the ground, street lights are protected from vandalism and being tampered with, as well as posing no hazard to citizens.

Power source

Lastly, and what could be considered to be the most important factor, is that they have a power source. All smart city technologies require some form of power to work and transmit data. Street lights are already equipped with that, making the smart city journey easier.

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