Philips sees L.E.D. lighting a ‘Smart City’ requirement

ENERGY efficiency is a main ingredient of a “Smart City”. By deploying “Smart light-emitting diode [LED] street lighting”, cities could achieve energy savings and reduction in carbon-dioxide emission by almost two-thirds, according to representatives of Philips Lighting NV.

In a recent United Nations forum in New York, executives of the Royal Philips NV division emphasized the need for high-caliber data to understand the value of LED systems. Philips Lighting announced it has formed a partnership with the World Council on City Data (WCCD) to address the need for cooperation with cities around the world.

According to a new report jointly produced by Philips Lighting and the WCCD, Los Angeles accomplished energy savings of 63 percent in 2016 by implementing such a system, generating cost savings of $9 million and reducing its annual greenhouse-gas emissions associated with public lighting by 47,000 metric ton.

“This is equivalent to the greenhouse-gas emissions from almost 10,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year,” a statement by Philips Lighting said. “If cities around the world adopted such systems, they could make vast reductions in their annual emissions and expenditure on electricity.”

The report pointed out that better-quality lighting could also bring benefits, such as reduced crime rates and improved citizen perceptions of safety, with Los Angeles observing a 10.5-percent drop in crime rates for offenses, such as vehicle theft, burglary and vandalism in the first two years of its LED conversion program.

Other benefits of connected LED street lighting cited by the report include improvements in traffic safety for all road users, city attractiveness and economic strength. By producing these benefits over and above emission reductions, smart LED lighting will also make a major contribution to meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a globally-agreed set of targets for moving to a sustainable future by 2030.

In Southeast Asia Philips Lighting reported it has already successfully achieved energy savings through connected street lighting. As part of a city-wide upgrade by DKI Jakarta Government office, Philips Lighting said nearly 90,000 of the Indonesian capital’s street luminaires have been replaced with energy-efficient LED lights to date. These lights are connected to a cloud-based smart-lighting management system.

The same system was also implemented in Melaka as part of its Green City Action Plan to make the city a Green Technology State by 2020. The new lighting system potentially offers Malaysia’s state government savings of up to 80 percent and will also improve operational efficiencies as there is less reliance on manpower being mobilized to determine faulty or nonfunctioning lights.

“City authorities face complex and challenging choices concerning infrastructure, balancing the need to maintain existing services while investing in improvements, managing population growth and enhancing sustainability—all within tight budget constraints,” Harry Verhaar, head of Philips Lighting global public and government affairs, was quoted in a statement as saying.

According to Verhaar, the operation and maintenance of street lighting is a major cost that contributes to these challenges for local authorities. But new technologies are transforming the way cities can deliver, operate and maintain public lighting in a way that can generate a wide range of benefits to the local authorities and the communities they serve, he said. The challenge is building the investment case to enable them to implement this technology in the first place, Verhaar added.

According to the Philips Lighting report, only about 1 in 10 of approximately 300 million streetlights across the world are energy-efficient LEDs, but only 2 percent are connected.

“Combining energy-efficient lighting with connected system management can deliver energy savings of up to 80 percent—which would make a significant dent in our climate change targets,” Verhaar said.

Lighting currently accounts for 15 percent of global electricity consumption, but with a universal switch to LEDs, lighting’s share of power consumption would fall to just 8 percent.

Philips Lighting said challenges facing the adoption of public-sector smart-technology projects include financing projects upfront, particularly with squeezed local-authority budgets.

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