Smart Street Lighting: A Key to Reducing the Carbon Footprint
Our current energy production system from fossil fuels is one of the root causes of climate change-related catastrophe. Fossil fuels are mainly used to produce electricity or to cool or heat industrial or residential space or work as process heat in the manufacturing sector or run automobiles or trains. Electricity is used to run factories, trains, consumer appliances, heating, cooling, and lighting space. Lighting is used in both indoor context and outdoor contexts. Reducing electricity usage for lighting can directly contribute to a lower carbon footprint.
Depending upon the specific need, Lighting is used as ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting to illuminate homes, offices, factories, warehousing, and malls. The outdoor context is used to illuminate the highways, streets, and parking spaces, enhancing citizens' safety, security, and health. Various technology types are used for lighting, such as metal halide, halogen, sodium vapour, and now white LED. Thanks to improved quality, falling prices, energy-efficiency, longer life span, advanced coloured rendering capability, and low maintenance costs, LEDs have replaced conventional high-intensity discharge (HID) lighting in indoor and outdoor settings. Keeping outdoor lighting ON during the empty street or in the presence of sunlight is the sheer wastage of electricity. Furthermore, keeping billboard lights ON displaying company products and services during off business-hours (late-night) is also a waste of resources. Enforcing citizens, urban authorities, and commercial establishments to switch off their lighting during non-usage periods can greatly reduce the carbon footprint.
#Smart street lights can easily retrofit into the existing outdoor lighting infrastructure. LED in existing street lighting systems with smart systems can significantly reduce electricity consumption, save money, eliminating mercury waste disposal and reduce carbon emissions. As LEDs have minimum electricity thresholds to produce light, we can dim them at much lower illumination levels when less light is needed. Smart lighting use LED as a light source. An intelligent, automated (LED) smart street lighting system employs motion-sensing (timer and motion detector sensors) technology to dim brightness levels in response to local conditions dynamically. It keeps outdoor lighting OFF in sunlight or during the empty street when no pedestrians or vehicles, or animals are near the vicinity.
Using Astro-clock scheduling and mixed-mode scheduling, It adjusts the brightness of light based on sunlight's availability and need of brightness at a particular time zone (clock-time and traffic-flow-based lighting intensity control). Real-time updates on the lighting status, performance, energy consumption, malfunctioning elements in the grid enables urban authorities to narrow down faults to individual components and save downtime on repair and maintenance. Usage of LED in lighting along with smart technology can substantially reduce the consumption of electricity. Care must be taken to use only white filtered LED (less than 3000K colour temperature) with proper shielding (downwards), which saves energy and enhances motorist, riders, and pedestrian safety, and reduces light pollution during the night.
Many Indian companies such as #ViaLights have taken the initiative to lower carbon footprint by transforming the outdoor lighting scenario with the latest IoT technology (binding feature) to control street lights even in the absence of internet or gateway.