Special Report

Lighting the Smart City

How will the rise of smart cities revolutionise lighting?

It is obvious that cities that are listed to be smart are bound to have smart streets, equipment, smart amenities, uninterrupted power supply and light which are as essential as food. The concept of smart cities has created numerous opportunities for various sectors. Lighting is one major sector that is expected to gain momentum as well as good business opportunities in the coming years. Present lighting systems are technologically highly-advanced. Moreover, internet of things (IOT), digitisation will bring value addition for the lighting sector.

Briefing about how will the rise of smart cities revolutionise lighting Sharmila Kumbhat, Director, K-Lite Industries says, “The concept of smart cities came into being as a consequential development to internet of things (IoT), digital connectivity, global warming and the compelling necessities for energy saving. More than 50 per cent of the world’s population live in cities, a city environment, with a closely knit street light network became a natural choice for a smart city concept. Lighting has a key role to play in energy saving.”

She adds, “Public lighting with LED can fulfill its role to bring down the energy consumption to 50 per cent. By digitising and connecting traditional street lighting, cities can deliver the right light when and where needed, optimise operations, save money, and help people feel safer and comfortable.”

The right smart street lighting platform with the help of IoT can help cities deal with issues such as safer traffic movement, crime and antisocial behavior, pedestrian and driver safety, and city revitalisation projects. “Falling costs and improvements in quality are making LED lighting the default option as cities replace and upgrade existing lighting systems. Street lighting infrastructure can become an enabling platform for smart city applications, hosting sensor networks and wireless communications for traffic control, smart parking, noise and air quality monitoring, incident detection, and more,” states Kumbhat.

We are now standing at the cusp of change, believes Ripu Daman Sharma, Country Manager Sales, India Subcontinent, Lutron Electronics. He says, “Seeing the way the technology is headed and how its utility is transforming lives, it won’t be a surprise to see ‘smart homes’ becoming a common phenomenon in the next couple of years. And, talking about progress, as far as India is concerned, the government’s aim of developing 100 smart cities in a period of five years, has already given a thrust to that vision. The government’s smart city mission has already opened doors of new opportunities and possibilities for enterprises that are keen and optimistic about leveraging new-age intelligent technologies like automation and IoT to make the mission successful.”

Cities under the mission will experiment with intelligent lighting systems that can be controlled remotely. They lower electricity costs, enable demand-driven lighting, and reduce CO2 emissions.

“The lighting controls industry has a bright and promising future as India will observe a revolution in the areas of light management with the rise of smart cities,” says Sharma.

LED technology was a costly affair initially but with time and technology developments they have become cheaper and governments are encouraging people to cut their energy use these and thus contribute towards sustainable environment. Conserving energy is one major thing that these LED light companies are looking forward to. They keep on creating new and innovative lights that are suitable for the Indian consumer and are pocket friendly. These LEDs consume energy and are pocket friendly and really contribute towards sustainability. “Within last few years, with the rise of smart cities, use of LED bulbs and streetlights has bounced up in the houses, offices and on the roads all over the world thus converting the conventional light to energy efficient LED lighting leads to cost – and energy savings and a lower reliance on fossil-based fuels. Earlier the use of incandescent bulbs was high and they could be easily seen in our home which sometimes created a dark effect and was quite prone to heat. But technology has changed a lot since then and also has our home styles. Similarly healthy and cost effective lighting along with energy conservator feature marks the future of LEDs,” informs Rambo Zhang, Country Head for India at Opple.

Lighting will play a significant role in the development of smart cities of the future and LED lighting system would be the future of street lighting systems in the smart cities in the days ahead, believes Ajay Saraf, Business Head – Lighting, Havells India Ltd. Moving beyond its functional role of illumination, LED lighting has the potential to enhance quality of life and ensure sustainability in our ever expanding cities.LED lighting solutions will also help save thousands of watts of electricity.

Urban populations are growing rapidly and as per a market study, over 60 per cent of the world population will be living in cities by 2030.

Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India, “Connected LED lighting has the potential to enhance quality of life, transform everyday experiences and services, and ensure sustainability in our ever-expanding global smart cities. By 2030 it is expected that there will be close to 70 billion light points. We are looking into the city of 2030, thereby exploring four scenarios which demonstrate how future lighting technology can deliver more sustainable, better-connected and more enjoyable cities. These are:
• Connected Streets: Connected LED street lights provide highly energy efficient, quality light, but they are also sensor nodes on an information highway. In 2030 connected street lights could stream data between millions of devices
• Interactive public spaces: Scarcity of space will compel cities to extend public spaces underground, with a seamless transition made possible by lighting that mimics natural daylight and makes people feel comfortable.
• Sustainable city farming: Beneath the city and in unused spaces, urban farms that use little water and no pesticides, can grow plants and vegetables sustainably – reducing the distance between the farm and your fork, increasing food security, ensuring provenance and protecting precious natural resources.
• More Personalised living: In the home of 2030, lighting will be able to synchronise with everything from your door bell to your television and music and will be fully adjustable to individual preferences.

Latest offering from the companies for smart city application
Havells’s Power of Ethernet (POE)
Havells India is spearheading various innovative offerings for smart city applications such as the Power of Ethernet (POE) in which all lighting amenities can be brought together with other facilities such as – telephony, internet, electricity, HVAC integration, etc, through a single Ethernet cable. This will not only do away with hassles of multiple dangling wires but also go a long way in terms of getting data related to energy saving, space optimisation, CO2 emission, daylight harvesting, etc.

K-Lite’s LED luminaires with architectural poles
K-Lite, a makor manufacturer of heritage poles and architectural luminaires were chosen to supply LED luminaires with architectural poles for Varanasi smart city project undertaken by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd ( EESL). Around 4,500 nos of state-of-art energy saving LED street light luminaires are being erected to replace the conventional luminaires . Also the Golden Temple area in Amritsar and Jaipur development area are lighted with our heritage poles and LED luminaires.

CityTouch by Phillips
“Smart city is a vision of the future, but it’s also a reality today. The smart city technology space is growing and evolving rapidly. Philips Lighting supports smart city initiatives with the world’s most complete portfolio of LED luminaries, controls, software management platforms, apps and services,” says Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India.

With regards to the company’s latest offering Joshi informs, “In this space is our Philips CityTouch connected lighting management platform, wherein each light point can be connected and performance data can be sent through existing cellular networks to the city’s lighting office (Industry & Energy Department) or operator. The data can then enable the city officials to efficiently monitor the city’s lighting infrastructure and remotely manage illumination levels to match different needs by district.”

Philips CityTouch provides full visibility and control of a city’s street lighting from a centralized dashboard, allowing city officials to securely monitor light points, set schedules, and adjust light levels on demand. Data encryption and two-factor authentication ensure the software meets the most stringent security standards.

Easy to use web applications provide a complete view of a city’s connected street lights, enabling officials to manage workflows and deploy maintenance crews only when and where needed. System data gives near real-time insights into energy use and cost, helping city administrators to plan and schedule more efficiently.

Factors to consider
Lights play a major role in setting the right kind of environment for any place, be it residential or commercial areas. Zhang shares few factors that remain constant in terms of the impact that lights have in a certain place; one must keep these factors in mind while buying LEDs:

Flicker free: Flicker has been one of the most growing causes of ailments like headaches through lights. LED lamps ensure flicker free light, helping avoid headache, migraine, dizziness, impaired intellectual and visual performance and providing a better lighting experience.

Energy saving: LED lamps bring in efficient energy savings and use less energy than a standard incandescent luminaire. This is especially important for commercial spaces. On an average LED bulbs save up to 85 per cent of energy. Yellow light is most commonly given off by incandescent bulbs that have a shorter life than LEDs or CFLS so shorter lifespan means more waste generated.

Environment friendly: LED lamps ensure flicker free light, helping avoid headache, migraine, dizziness, impaired intellectual and visual performance and providing a better lighting experience. They ensure that people using the light do not feel any of these symptoms which a standard incandescent light may cause often.

Long lasting: Longer lifespan of LED lamps mean less time in changing, which also mean less maintenance costs for customers. They have the capacity to go on for years at a stretch without a single issue. Many LED manufacturers across the globe say that these bulbs can easily last for 25-45 years if used for just few hours a day. CFL’s and Incandescent bulbs don’t last long enough in comparison.

Low heat emission: Over heating through yellow lights has always been a growing causing of concern since the inception of lighting itself. However, the technology that goes into making LEDs ensures that it is lampsare, therefore making it safe to touch because they generate much less heat.

UV free: Harmful UV rays emitted from lights can cause severe effects on the skin, eyes and the immune system. LED lamps protect against harmful UV rays and that leads to a healthier life.

Antiglare: LED lamps reduce the glare in an effective way to improve the lighting, which enhances the ability to observe, and eliminate headache, eye pain and more.

Mercury free: Toxic mercury causes many frequent effects with consumers. White LED lights do not have any mercury in them which means that they will not cause any harmful effects.

Falling costs and improvements in quality are making LED lighting the default option as cities replace and upgrade existing lighting systems.
Sharmila Kumbhat, Director, K-Lite Industries

Lighting will play a significant role in the development of smart cities of the future and LED lighting system would be the future of street lighting systems in the smart cities.
Ajay Saraf, Business Head – Lighting, Havells India Ltd

The lighting controls industry has a bright and promising future as India will observe a revolution in the areas of light management with the rise of smart cities.
Ripu Daman Sharma, Country Manager Sales, India Subcontinent, Lutron Electronics

Healthy and cost effective lighting along with energy conservator feature marks the future of LEDs.
Rambo Zhang, Country Head for India at Opple

By 2030 it is expected that there will be close to 70 billion light points.
Sumit Joshi, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Philips Lighting India

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