Smart Street Lighting
The monitoring and control of street lights has become increasingly common in the UK owing to the move towards electricity metering demanded by new regulation and the rising cost of energy.
A major initiative to replace street lights across the country has presented the opportunity to introduce smarter street lighting and this forms an important part of local authorities’ aims to embrace the environmental “green agenda”.
The solution involved sensing the voltage and current in the lamp unit and deriving the power factor. The power factor is important as it indicates the “health” of the lamp; a falling lamp will have a high power factor.
This information is then transmitted to a base station, which sends commands to the streetlights to switch on/off or dim. The base station itself contains sensors, to monitor light levels and the local radio interference environment.
Furthermore, the system described here predicts lamp failure and allows planned preventative maintenance, saving significant costs.
Plextek’s solution allows street lights to be “trimmed and dimmed”, i.e. to be turned on and off accurately depending on the day of the year or to be dimmed depending on ambient light conditions.
The system allows groups of lights to be independently controlled so, for example, lights near a school can be brighter or on for longer to improve road safety. Likewise, lights can be turned on to deter crime or illuminate an incident attended by the emergency services.
Our client for this project is now a UK market leader in street light management with over one million street light units deployed. Local authorities, who have become early adopters, are already showing large energy cost savings.