(Part 1 of 2)

Whether in the cities or the suburbs, reliable street
lighting provides residents with a sense of security. But this essential
service is often plagued with problems, from streetlights that are unreliable
or damaged, burned out bulbs, lack of proper synchronization with sunrise and
sunset and brightness or dimness issues. Moreover, operating and maintaining traditional
street lighting systems is expensive with maintenance teams relying on personal
observance of problems or reports from the public.

No one disputes the value of good street lighting, and with emerging
smart street lighting solutions the problems with older systems can be
overcome. The first step for municipalities is understanding smart street
lighting solutions and the value they offer.

There are a variety of important considerations for those
contemplating upgrading their existing systems with smart street lighting,
including the following 5 (we’ll explore another 5 in a subsequent blog) :

  • Deployment – Is the system
    easy to roll out across a municipality? What is the deployment process? What is
    the typical implementation timeframe for vendors who can provide these
    solutions?
  • Programmability – How
    simple is it to program the lighting for the municipality’s needs? What are the
    steps involved?
  • Central control – Who will
    handle oversight of the lighting network, and from where?  
    • Does the solution allow for
      a generic backbone or platform over the area or sections of the city that allow
      for centralized management?
    • Does the solution offer web-based
      or other centralized management, making replacing and repairing problems easier?
      How are problems detected? Rather than riding around looking for problems, does
      the system provide alerts about problems as they happen, pinpointing the
      location so repairs can be made quickly and efficiently?
  • Flexibility – Is the system
    easy to manipulate as needed? For instance, if there is a crime scene at night
    and the police are searching for a suspect, is it possible to increase the
    brightness of the lighting within a certain sector of the city?  
    • Does the vendor offer a
      variety of solutions that can be tailored to the unique needs of the
      municipality?
  • Reliability – Are the systems
    installed in other municipalities with similar needs? How are they received in
    those locations?  
    • What other municipalities has
      your vendor engaged with? How successful was their upgraded lighting systems
      process?
    • Was the vendor able to meet
      the unique needs of each municipality where its solutions are deployed?