Smarter Street Lighting


Problem: conventional legacy street lights in cities worldwide consume a large portion of a city’s energy budget, break down frequently, and require extensive maintenance costs.

Solution: adopting network-based LED streetlights provides an energy-saving solution that can also help mitigate maintenance lags and urban light pollution.

  • Chicago is replacing more than 250,000 (approximately 85% of the city) streetlights with smart LED units that promises to reduce energy consumption of existing lights by 50 to 75%.
  • The lights are connected by an IoT network that will enable dimming and brightening control and status monitoring to facilitate proactive maintenance and quicker responses for repairs.
  • Silver Spring Networks is an IoT network provider that was chosen by the city to partner with renewable energy company Ameresco. Silver Spring is providing similar street light modernization solutions to Paris, London, and other cities worldwide.


  • city and local government transportation/maintenance departments
  • utility companies
  • IoT network service providers

First 3 steps:

  • identify cities with outdated conventional street light infrastructure
  • present to them the ROI case for adopting LED-based lighting connected by a smart network that allows for control of light output, saves annual energy consumption, and provides real-time communication of functionality for ease of maintenance
  • seek out local energy utility that shares a similar vision for smart energy-saving street lighting solutions to partner with


Chicago Takes Smart Lighting Lead

The Business Case For Smart Street Lights 


2 thoughts on “Smarter Street Lighting

  1. This is a great idea. A problem in many big cities are that they are not able to maintain and repair the lights that go out fast enough. And many areas are left dark in the night over a long period of time. This can be unsafe for pedestrians, and having a more illuminated street also helps with the feeling of safety. This is also a positive side effect with this technology.


  2. The benefits are very exciting beyond just more efficient lighting operations. Implementing smart street lighting can provide the communications and control platform that can allow for a whole suite of municipal services, such as smart parking, optimized trash collection, pedestrian and bicycle monitoring and many more. The light poles are excellent vantage points for monitoring and when coupled with a connection to the cloud, many possibilities open up.


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