Philips and Cisco share their joint vision for connected public lighting for cities in a Point of View paper titled ‘’The Time is right for Connected Public Lighting within Smart Cities’’.
The paper highlights the importance of lighting to help create a livable city, and the opportunity to save energy by the implementation of energy-efficient LED lighting. The companies outline an innovative approach to realize additional savings by connecting lighting to the Internet, deriving even greater value by using the lighting network for other connected services.
Cities Across the Globe Face New Trends & Challenges
As the world’s population rises at an increasingly rapid pace, driven by skyrocketing urban
growth, the topic of the “sustainable, livable city” is gaining momentum. We are realizing that
the planet’s scarce resources might not be sufficient to sustain the tremendous population
spike we are facing.
Four trends in particular are creating new challenges—and opportunities—for city leaders
- Urbanization across the globe: Urban populations are rapidly increasing, reflecting the growing strategic importance of city locations. By 2050, more than two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities—and more than 3 billion people will live in new, expanded, or renovated urban settings.1
- Surging demand for energy and resources: With cities accounting for 70 percent of the world’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,2 there are increasing concerns about the price and availability of energy resources—and their environmental impact.
- Cities’ desire to establish a strong identity: Inter-city competition for people and business is on the rise, creating conditions for economic growth.
- Growing connectivity: There are huge, new opportunities to improve urban life through intelligent, highly efficient solutions enabled by information and communications technology (ICT). Increasing urgency and public pressure will drive adoption of advanced city operation systems.
Rapid urbanization around the globe presents cities with the challenge of ensuring their “livability.” The Philips Livable Cities Think Tank3 has identified three important ingredients of a livable city: resilience, inclusiveness, and authenticity. Resilience focuses on a city’s flexibility and balance—the ability to adapt to the requirements of the city; inclusiveness refers to a city’s ability to generate a sense of community in all sections of the population, irrespective of gender, age and ethnicity; authenticity is the local character or identity of a city.
An intelligent, networked public lighting infrastructure can contribute to enhancing the “livability” of cities around the world by:
- Creating a resource-efficient, environmentally resilient city: Adopt energy solutions that keep pace with a city’s progress and prepare it for an exciting future by minimizing resource usage and environmental impacts.
- Ensuring the safety and security of all citizens: Make people feel safer by improving driving conditions, discouraging crime, and reinvigorating urban spaces—from neighborhoods and communal spaces to parklands and highways.
- Establishing an attractive, vibrant image: Cities want to express their unique, distinctive identities and truly shine on the global map, attracting businesses and tourism.
Responsible, “smart” lighting is no longer a “nice to have” for cities—it’s imperative to ensure that cities develop in a sustainable way to ensure a healthy future.
Public Lighting: An Asset Cities Can No Longer Afford To Overlook
Artificial light is an essential element of urban environments—not only after dark, but also as part of a city’s identity. It affects residents’ sense of safety and social inclusion, and also influences the degree to which cities can create an inviting environment for business and tourism.
- Lighting accounts for 19 percent of all electricity consumed
- One-third of the world’s roads are still lighted by technology dating back to the 1960s
- The installation of new street lighting solutions can save up to €10 billion in energy per year4
Philips estimates that a complete switch to LED technology can generate savings of approximately €130 billion —an enormous sum equivalent to the elimination of 640 medium-sized power stations globally.
Furthermore, an independent, global trial of LED technology in 12 of the world’s largest cities found that LEDs can generate energy savings of 50 to 70 percent—with savings reaching 80 percent when LED lighting is coupled with smart controls. The program also indicated that citizens of pilot cities prefer LED lighting, citing the social and environmental benefits, such as a greater sense of safety and improved visibility.
The report, “Lighting the Clean Revolution: The Rise of LEDs and What It Means for Cities,” was launched as part of “The Clean Revolution” campaign at the Rio+20 UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum. Produced by The Climate Group in partnership with Philips, the report supports the campaign’s argument that major energy savings can be achieved virtually overnight at relatively little cost.
The LED lighting revolution is gaining traction: worldwide, 10 percent of new public streetlights installed are currently LED-based—a figure expected to rise to 80 percent by 2020.5
Connected Public Lighting
Switching to LED lighting alone, however, will not be enough to meet cities’ energy consumption and cost reduction targets. Adaptive, interoperable lighting solutions are needed to bring savings to a next level. Urban leaders now face a dilemma: cities are complex entities where inefficiencies arise because systems are not interconnected and have no way to “talk” to one another. A joint effort is required to realize the vision of smart connected cities, enabling meaningful innovation for years to come.
We thus see the future of public lighting as a transition from analog to digital, from fluorescent lightbulbs to solid-state lighting—all connected to an energy grid through a variety of last-mile access technologies (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Moving from “Traditional” to “Intelligent” Lighting Networks.