Smart lighting for Smart Cities

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Lighting is responsible for 19% of global use of electrical energy, and accounts for about 6% of the total emissions of greenhouse gases . As an example, getting a savings of approximately 40% of the energy we use for lighting would give a positive impact equivalent to removing half the emissions from the production of electricity and heat generation. Smart Lighting comprises an heterogeneous and multidisciplinary area within illumination management, with the possibility of integrating a wide set of sensor and control technologies,together with information and communication technologies, with the aim of achieving a higher efficiency and a lower negative impact derived from the use of energy for illumination, in combination with enhanced intelligent functionalities and interfaces of lighting in the ambient, commercial and public domain.One of the principal Smart Lighting enabler has been the introduction and emergence of semiconductor based digital light sources such as LED (Light Emitting Diode) and next generation LED technologies such as Organic Light Emitting Diodes also known as OLEDs or Solid State Light (SLL) sources.The lighting industry is facing the most notable transition since the introduction of electric light bulbs in the 19th century. Current business models are being scrutinized and future market potential is being assessed against those models. This is due to the rapid emergence of LED lighting that is transforming the technological and competitive landscape.Related to that, the research focus for new applications on this area is mainly posed on digital enabled and controlled lighting interfaces and systems, allowing lighting functions to become more dynamic, controllable and interactive,and adaptive depending on external and internal variables,leading on more intelligent lighting solutions.Smart Lighting comprises the integration of intelligent functionalities and interfaces at four complementary levels presented in the Figure 1.First Level or Embedded Level: The first integration level is in the lighting engine or light source itself.Second Level or System Level:The second level is in luminaries and lighting systems. 1375 Third Level or Grid Level: The third level comprises management and monitoring of power sources,energy generation plants and distribution utilities and appliances.Fourth Level or Communication and Sensing Level:The fourth level is incomplete lighting solutions with monitoring, control and management applications. Smart Lighting has accelerated research regarding the impact of light and lighting on humans (in health as well as natural behavior), animals and vegetation [17]. It has already led to a better understanding of the importance of light for human and animal comfort and well being in homes, schools as well as for higher efficiencies in labor offices and commercial environments.On this way, M2M Communications and Internet of Things Technologies provides capabilities for planning,increasingly precise regarding the installation and monitoring of lighting systems based on several parameters that can influence. All the retrieved measurements, stored, processed and properly analyzed can give answer to the question of what is the best area for the installation of a type of specific light, as well as what type of power generation equipment is more appropriate to install depending on the results, thereby achieving maximum efficiency within the alternatives.It is clear that a managed streetlight network is necessary in combination with smart controls. This new vision of the cities together with data leads us to a new generation of applications within the concept of Smart Cities, where what happens in the physical world feeds our system, that makes a series of decisions as notifying an order to a particular service and adjust parameters, or even easing decision making processes based on previously retrieved data. This is a key factor in improving the aspects like efficiency and energy awareness, maximizing available resources and thus the responsible use of them.


  • huge reduction of energy and maintenance cost
  • increased public safety from improved lighting
  • safer traffic due to increased visibility of hazards;
  • measurable environmental impact due to reduced energy consumption

Through their function as a platform for smart city services, additional opportunities can be seized:

  • mobile broadband connectivity
  • traffic light controls
  • smart parking
  • traffic management
  • electric vehicle (EV) charging stations
  • environmental monitoring (emissions, noise)
  • public safety through video cameras