It’s the new buzz word and it’s encouraging to know people are heeding the call. Are you listening?
Wireless technology and data dissemination enable us to live wiser, healthier and more environmentally friendly lives. Smart cities are part of this technological shift in the fields of energy management, transportation, waste management and Internet of Things (IoT) for improving public services. By using scarce resources efficiently, a more beneficial future is possible for the people & the environment.
Will your Municipality or City take part in the Smart City Concept?
Why are Smart Cities Important?
Why is it so important to search for new ways of improving public infrastructures? Can’t we keep the status quo? Not, if a city wants to achieve sustainability in the long run.
Firstly, consumers are getting used to fast and effective online services thanks to the boom of IoT. If governments and local officials don’t supply the same quality of public service, citizens will look for - and move to - places with modern and enabling infrastructures that will satisfy their needs.
Secondly, all cities have limited resources and budgets. This applies to space, water, energy, transportation and other public assets. To ensure survival of the city and a sustainable life for its citizens, public officials must learn how to manage these resources efficiently. Luckily, smart technology helps us improve urban life significantly.
The Importance of Smart Solar Street Lights in Smart Cities
Don’t you think it’s time to upgrade the Street Lighting System in your City or Municipality? The investment in smart solar street lighting now will result in energy efficiency and cost savings in the future. To delve deeper in the topic, read the article "Five Reasons Why Solar Street Lighting is a Smart Decision for Cities".
When officials turn to modern solar energy solutions as an effective outdoor lighting option, it has a positive effect to the functionality of many public infrastructure areas. If you’re serious about creating a smart city, you can’t leave out these important aspects of smart solar street lights.
Why use up traditional fossil fuel driven energy sources if there is a renewable energy source that will supply the same amount of power without harming the environment? Investing in solar energy now may be the best move to improve your energy management needs in the long run.
Solar street lights use clean energy which is absorbed by solar panels and stored in solar batteries to power LED lighting during the night. With solar powered street lights you will not deplete oil or water resources while reducing environmental pollution.
In addition, you don’t have to compromise on efficiency in public and municipal lighting. Solar LED street lights prove to be much more efficient than traditional outdoor lighting methods:
- The LED lights require less power;
- The solar street lighting system is functional even when the city’s electricity grid has problems;
- You’ll never run out of a clean energy power source if you implement a smart energy management system.
If you want to supply efficient public services to your community, you can’t allow to have energy disruptions. Since solar outdoor lighting systems provide viable solutions for businesses and private users as well, smart cities can motivate solar street light installations among their citizens. By implementing solar energy projects, smart cities could provide practical examples of the benefits of using solar LED lights and work close together with the community to inform the citizens about this clean energy application. It’s much easier to ensure resources are available in the future if the entire city works together towards green energy goals.
What prevents cities from implementing new outdoor lighting systems? Take a guess. My answer is budgetary restrictions first and foremost.
However, this should not be a problem if smart solar street lights are part of your smart city development plan. Since solar LED lights are powered by off-grid solar energy source, the city’s electricity cost should eventually decrease. The following article "How to use your Municipal Lighting Budget more Efficiently?" provides very good practical guidelines on financing public lighting projects. The energy savings from installing solar street lighting systems will enable new funds for implementing many other applications complementary to the smart city concept.
Will the modern feature of smart solar street lights cause more harm than good? Read this article to find out the answer.
While this is true for some technological innovations, smart solar street lights have virtually no negative impact on the environment:
- Since the sun’s energy is used to power the system, no natural resources are depleted;
- LED lights have lower CO2 emissions than traditional globes;
- There will be fewer emissions by the entire solar off-grid lighting system and thus less pollution;
- The solar street light poles don’t require a grid connection. This in turn reduce construction work and installation procedures, which translates into fewer risks of impacting the flora and fauna in the area.
Remote Management Technology
An additional reason most high-tech developments are put on the back burner is the added effort most new systems require by the user. On the contrary, a smart solar LED light system aligns perfectly with a smart city concept. It’s both user friendly, fast and efficient.
Simplified City Management
The smart city concept is structured around managing a city more effectively. You can do much more whenever you save time, energy and human resources.
This is possible with smart solar street lights. Remote management technology helps officials determine when a LED light or solar system component is out of order. Maintenance can be focused on where problems occur instead of wasting time looking for problems or waiting for the public to report them. The remote management technology provides information in real time, so officials stay informed 24/7. The smart cloud software enables officials to adjust settings of the solar light system if necessary. Solar LED lights can be dimmed for optimum energy usage. This is ideal for low traffic areas or when solar batteries run low on power.
Remote management control also enables the lights to be automatically dimmed or activated via motion sensors. This saves even more energy and doesn’t require workers to do it manually. Wireless cloud based systems are the way of the future and solar LED lights make automation possible for smart cities.
Improved Service Delivery
One of the primary objectives of smart cities is to provide their communities with improved service delivery. A smart city solar LED lighting system enables officials to offer citizens an integrated platform of services. Solar street light poles can integrate Wi-Fi network, buttons to request emergency services, charging spots for smart devices, online applications, digital info displays and much more.
Multiple Uses and Integration of the Solar Street Light Pole
Smart solar street lights can create the framework of a smart city to provide services sparked by the IoT:
- Use the poles as foundation for a city wide Wi-Fi system;
- For instance, citizens gain access to Wi-Fi to find information on:
- Available parking when sensors pick up where open spaces are and distribute the information via the system;
- Details about traffic congestion;
- Payment options for parking;
- Benefits for officials include gathering information from sensors integrated in the street lighting system on traffic and environmental pollution. Big Data can be converted to valuable information and statistics to further improve the city’s functioning and urban planning decisions.
The concept of smart city should be on everyone’s agendas: officials and citizens. You won’t have a modern and functional city without digitizing and modernizing your infrastructure. Otherwise, how are we going to benefit from what technology offers us? Citizens demand it and the long-term plans of your city require it. A smart solar street light system is the inevitable springboard to your city’s clean energy transformation.