Why smart street light pole can be a game-changer in smart city development


Why smart street light pole can be a game-changer in smart city development

Urban authorities across the world are vying to transform their existing cities into smart cities by laying down myriad smart applications with multiple networks. In that context, smart street light (LED) pole can be a game-changer as its inbuilt telecom power infrastructure enables urban authorities to deploy single cyberinfrastructure instead of multiple networks to run numerous smart city applications on the layer of urban infrastructure (physical and landscape) thus save maintenance and operation cost. Furthermore, by establishing a common data platform, city authorities can cross-reference the data sets (such as traffic, lighting, temperature and humidity data) thus reduce the total cost of smart application deployment.


Replacing the conventional high-pressure sodium lamps and mercury lamp street light with LED street light infrastructure can conserve electricity. But adding ITT, connectivity network, and enabled controls to street light it can not only become smart but also become the backbone of other smart application to run. The smart street light system consists of a fixture (luminaire), network lighting controller (NLC), network, software (for command and control), and data collection. 

The entire light fixture of the LED with the NLC monitors power consumption, voltage, identifies failure and alert the utility through a network. It ensures real-time automated control and management of both individual and groups street lights. Luminescence sensors enable the street light to adjust the light intensity as per the climate changes. It increases the light brightness on detecting vehicles (traffic) or pedestrian and dims it again for the distancing vehicle and pedestrian. Smart street light not only transforms busy and unsafe roads safer for the cyclist and motorist but also enhances walkability for pedestrians and thus promotes positive health for citizens.

The beauty of the smart street pole is that it can host a free public Wi-Fi network thus provides needed connectivity not only to the battery-free sensors installed in the fixture or on the pole but also to the battery-based sensors located nearby poles.

Battery-free sensors on a street light pole

  • Traffic sensors

  • By aligning battery-free traffic sensors with street light infrastructure and using radar or video cameras, civic authorities not only decongest congested traffic and reduce air pollution during peak traffic hours but also navigate drivers to the available vacant parking spaces.

  • Motion sensors

    Integrating IP cameras with various security and surveillance sensors enable law enforcement agencies to monitor public areas and quickly resolve security threats such as criminal activities, terrorist activities or civil unrest.

  • Environmental sensors

  • While environmental sensors monitor air quality and detect pollution levels (PM2.5/10), temperature and humidity sensors detect the urban canopy heat island effect, assess thermal comfort and create alert to the citizen and relevant urban authority.

  • Acoustic sensors detect the source of sound (whether the sound is from a car backfiring or a gunshot) and the location of the sound through triangulation techniques and sent it to public safety authorities.

  • Infrared radiation, smoke detectors detects fire eruption for heat (fire)

Battery based sensors located nearby street pole

Battery-based sensors deployed at water gulley, sewer line or soil or infrastructure(bridges) send data on some radio frequency to the smart street light network, which rely the data flow to the cloud for analysis and can create alert or display on billboards or citizens smartphone.

  • Water sensors monitor the level of water in a flood-prone area and alert authority regarding the flash flood.

  • Sewer level sensors detect sewer overflow, send proactive alerts to relevant urban authority.

  • Waste bin sensors send the alert sanitation crews when to collect the waste.

  • The sensor located in static structures (bridges) detects the inclination of the structure.

Digital signage (interactive connectivity)

The smart street light pole can host digital signage, which can fetch revenue to the city through advertisement displaying public service announcements like Amber or Silver Alert for missing children and missing persons through digital displays, it improves citizen safety. Apart from enabling the SOS application for an emergency, the smart street pole can also provide the latest information regarding the surrounding environment. Kiosks enable visitors or visually impaired people to navigate the city.


The smart street pole can also provide charging points for electric vehicles (cars, pedelecs) and smartphone.

Multiple street lights deployed with NLCs create a canopy network enabling smooth integration of any smart city application into that network. Additionally, the advent of Fifth-generation cellular network technology along with the latest radio-based IoT protocols and enhanced security features have made a smart street light a game-changer in the development of smart city applications.

In that context, SLS smart street solution (including interactive signage solution Dynamic Signage) can tackle interoperability between various device can be a catalyst for the rapid adoption of the #smart city application.


By  Nikson Mogaria   |  April 06, 2021