Are you tired of disappointing your citizens?
Yes, it’s challenging to keep a city running. Communities are also very quick to point to your mistakes while they forget everything municipalities do for them. What about having one less item to be concerned about? And it’s a huge one - municipal or public street lighting. Read on this blog to find out how you could greatly improve your municipal street lighting services for your citizens while at the same time reducing your costly street light fault reporting system.
What is the Biggest Challenge with Your Street Light Fault Reporting System?
Is it possible to meet the public expectations of keeping each single street light functional at minimal or no cost at all? Public street lights are known to be faulty when subjected to:
- Extreme weather conditions
- Power outages or spikes
- Long term use, lack of servicing and maintenance
- Cheap components and lack of system quality
- Theft and vandalism
Every municipality has to manage various features to support its street lighting system. Above all, you must administer and manage the public’s street light fault reporting and subsequent maintenance. According to a pilot research at city level in North America taking into account 190,000 traditional street lights, given that sodium bulbs have a life span of 5 years, the replacement and maintenance cost for each bulb is 330 USD, which means that on average the city replaces 38,000 lamps per year. The total maintenance cost for this activity amounts to 12.5 million USD per annum.
On top of the extremely high maintenance costs, municipalities need to have maintenance teams on stand by, ready to follow lengthy procedures such as:
- Responding to street light fault reports from citizens
- Traveling throughout the city, manually looking for faulty lights
- Identifying problems
- Giving reports on problems
- Tending to street light repair or replacement problems
These procedures result in large expenses. Each municipality has plenty of responsibilities taking a lot of employees’ time and requiring plenty of resource allocation under very stringent lighting budgets. Read this article to learn more how municipalities can use their lighting budget more efficiently.
That’s why municipalities need to implement smart solar LED light systems to counter the aforementioned problems while generating clean energy and achieving the necessary lighting efficiency.
How Smart Solar Features Revolutionize Public Street Lighting?
Intelligent technology provides a very unique solution for municipalities' urban design projects (read more here), influencing every aspect of their light monitoring and control systems. Let's see the benefits of smart technology and solar powered street lights for municipalities. Taking the following steps is crucial:
1. Introduce Smart Remote Monitoring System of Your Public Street Lighting
Do you love automation as much as I do?
A smart solar LED street light system solves your challenges. It enables city operators and municipalities to keep up with the maintenance and repair procedures as well as to detect problems on time and with less resources utilized. Connect the solar street lights to a remote control monitoring system and the moment a light malfunctions you’ll be notified in real-time.
Your staff members no longer have to search for the lights that need attention. They will know exactly where to go and what actions to undertake to fix the lighting issue in question. Most importantly, you’ll know about the problem even before an angry citizen contacts you.
2. Save Time
Working exactly where the problem is instead of first trying to detect it will save tremendous amount of time, resources and associated costs. The automatic street light reporting system allows for a more efficient time allocation to other necessary public services.
Even when a solar street light maintenance/repairment is necessary, it may require less labor, less time and a more effective preparation. With no wiring required, all work is completed above ground instead of workers digging trenches to check wires for faults and malfunctions. Smart technology integrated in the solar street lighting system will inform you about the entire system status in advance. Easy, right? Take a look at how smart solar street lights operate at night in this video.
3. Save Money
This one is especially important for municipalities, since they operate with public funds, under close scrutiny and with limited budgets. Yes, any new innovative street lighting system requires an initial investment. But, the ways you’ll save money with smart solar street lighting are extensive. Your long-term ROI will be worth it.
Getting items off the municipal grid is beneficial. Solar energy systems are one of the best ways to do this. Not only will this shift to solar off-grid lighting save municipality councils money, but the city will also move in a eco-friendly direction with less pollution and CO2 emissions.
The installation of solar street lights does not require any trenching and cabling, which significantly cuts the installation costs. Check out this article for the differences between traditional on-grid and solar off-grid street lights, including installation costs and procedures.
Do you fear a new advanced solar lighting system will only require more expenses than your current, obsolete and inefficient, lighting network? If you are concerned about high tech features getting damaged in hazardous areas, there’s a solution for your worries. You can pick from different types of solar street lights. Some are more rugged and ideal for highways. This means you’ll spend less of your funds on replacements and maintenance.
You can see your maintenance drops considerably. This means there’s less time wasted on organizing worker teams, which in turn leads to lower expenses. You may find that your physical street light fault reporting system is not necessary since the public will have fewer reasons to contact you now.
4. Easy Installation Process
This kind of technology will take years to implement, right? Wrong! Take a look at how easy it is.
When considering a new street light system you’re probably overwhelmed with images of construction, digging and chaos all over the city. Not if you are implementing a solar street lighting system. In case of new installations, the procedure can be completed within two days time. If you opt for retrofitting your traditional lighting systems, your current poles will still be utilized. The solar panels, intelligent technology and other solar system components will be integrated into the existing structures.
Yes, you need the sun to power this lighting system. Is it possible to place each solar panel in the sun, while keeping to existing roads? Solar street lights can swivel and adjust angles so it’s easier to find positions that allow for enough sunlight to be absorbed.
5. Create Safer Cities
What happens when the power goes out? Loss of city grid power won’t have any effect on solar street lights. Citizens are heavily reliant on a city’s utility infrastructure. A natural or man made disaster may cause your grid tied electricity source to malfunction. A city shrouded in darkness can result in chaos. Smart solar lighting systems provide you with light performance reliability in such unfortunate situations, giving emergency teams more leverage in solving problems and helping citizens.
You can create safe and citizen-centered environments, so you can focus your municipal resources on resolving other utility or city-wide infrastructure problems.
How do Smart Solar LED Street Lights Work?
You’ll love the many features of smart solar LED street lights because they counter almost every challenge you’ve ever faced. Each solar system component has a specific function:
- A solar panel on the unit transforms sunlight into electricity which will power the light when it gets dark. These are adjustable to make positioning easy.
- The unit is powered by a dedicated solar battery. Quality solar batteries carry warranties for years so you won’t have to replace them often. When batteries are optimized for energy generation and consumption with specific parameters, they can store solar energy longer, so cloudy days won’t interfere with your street lights’ functionality. Read our 4 priority tips on solar battery systems here.
- Instead of putting the solar street lights on fixed timers, you can rely on dimming functionalities to conserve energy (meaning the solar LED lights can operate at 50% during certain hours) and create your own working schedules in real-time. Motion sensors will power the solar LED lights to 100% only when movement by pedestrians or other objects is detected. This means energy is only used when needed.
- A wireless solar controller connects the unit to a remote monitoring system. This is used to alert the municipality of possible problems and outages and to get real-time notifications on the lighting system status.
It’s invigorating when smart technology starts solving long standing municipal lighting challenges. A dynamic solar street light system can help overcome many of the challenges municipalities face when providing public street lighting services to their citizens. From street light fault reporting to maintenance and servicing, your street lighting challenges can now be managed more efficiently and with greater public benefits. Take the first step by implementing smart solar street lights in your city, so you’re ready when the next invention for smart cities arrives in the market. Think ahead!
For more detailed information on smart solar street lighting download our e-Book below.