Smart street lighting could save the world's cities $15bn by 2023, says Juniper

Savings from smart street lighting mean projects almost pay for themselves

Smart lighting can be a base project to enable other smart city programs, says Juniper.
Smart lighting can be a base project to enable other smart city programs, says Juniper.

Smart street lighting will save cities as much as $15bn by 2023, according to Juniper Research.

The analyst company says that cumulative energy savings from smart street lighting could amount to $15bn worldwide.

Savings will come from the energy reduction from converting lamps to energy-efficient LEDs as well as the addition of connectivity to monitor and control the status of each individual light; saving up to 50% energy per light.

Better monitoring will also mean the ability to reduce maintenance truck roll by identifying where and when infrastructure needs repairing, which will realise additional savings.

Juniper added that the significant energy savings from LEDs versus normal lighting mean that these projects pay for themselves in a short period of time.

Juniper’s new research, Smart Cities: Leading Platforms, Segment Analysis & Forecasts 2019-2023 found that connected street lights are set to grow on average by 42% per annum between 2019 and 2023; reaching close to 70 million units by the end of the forecast period.

The company said that growing open platform adoption would enable street lighting to act as a major hub point for additional smart city services, such as public safety and smart transport.

Juniper also noted that smart street lighting will serve as an initial smart project for many cities and districts. Smart lighting can be used as a base for adjacent services, that can impact transportation, public safety, public health and connectivity.

Such add-on projects include smart traffic solutions and enabling architecture for future MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) delivery; public safety, with emphasis on the rapid detection of possible criminal activity; public health, where sensors positioned on the fixtures might better inform the city as to real-time air quality conditions to drive mitigating actions, and connectivity and other services, where partnerships with MNOs and other entities might develop city broadband services or other smart city projects.

Interoperability is an issue, as a fully standardised ecosystem for street lighting has yet to be realised, and cities may also need to renegotiate service fees with the utility provider, particularly in situations where the municipal utility is the owner of the pole and lighting fixture.

To fully realise the opportunity from connect light poles and smart lighting, cities should deploy open smart city platforms that can support additional services.

“The cost savings enabled by smart street lighting mean that many cities will look to this as a first-stage smart city project”, remarked research author Steffen Sorrell. “Choosing an open platform will be key here, as additional services can be launched from the same point, while simultaneously driving up third party vendor competition.”

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