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Brighton plans for smart street lights



Upgraded lamp posts will be used for LED lighting and provide potential for internet of things sensors

Brighton & Hove City Council is planning a new street lighting programme that could provide the infrastructure for a range of smart places technology.

Its Policy, Resources and Growth Committee last week agreed on a plan to upgrade 20,000 lamp posts with LED lanterns under its Street Lighting Invest to Save project.

It will involve an £8 million investment over three years with a forecast to recover the cost over 15 years, based on current electricity prices, while providing foundations to make Brighton & Hove a “future proof” city.

The central elements of the investment are the installation of energy-efficient LED lights, and the provision of a central management system to control the lighting. This would make it possible to dim or brighten the lamps, make the times for switching on and off more accurate, and reduce the maintenance costs.

Data devices

But it could also be used to manage an array of devices that could be installed on the lamp posts to provide data to the council. The committee agenda document says these could include sensors for air pollution, gulley monitoring, temperature and humidity, pedestrian footfall, parking notifications and refuse bin monitoring.

They could also provide a base for Wi-Fi nodes, 4G and 5G masts and CCTV and automatic number plate recognition cameras.

The council is currently talking to a number of possible suppliers. One of the requirements is that the system should be able to integrate or share data with other platforms through open APIs and provide the potential for predictive analytics.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee, said: “This is an extremely exciting project. Installing LED lighting across the city and using the columns for other technologies will bring huge benefits to our residents, businesses and visitors.

“We will save money by cutting our electricity use and be more environmentally friendly by reducing our energy and carbon footprint by up to 61%. Becoming a smart city means everyone will benefit from our use of the latest technologies while well-lit streets help reduce crime and the fear of crime as well as providing a safer night time street scene.”

She added: “To take a ‘do nothing’ approach would mean the council facing rising energy and consumption costs while our finances are being cut.” 

Picture by Luke Andrew Scowen, CC BY 2.0

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