Street lighting projects globally:
One of the most rapidly evolving regions is Oceania, where Australia and New Zealand are investing up to $780 million in streetlights over a ten-year period. Over 95% of streetlights in Oceania will have been converted to LEDs, while 70% will be networked by 2027.
According to Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group: “The New Zealand government is now funding 85% of the cost of streetlight projects and Australian states have come up with new financing mechanisms and lighting codes that are encouraging deployments. New Zealand already has over 25% of its streetlights networked.”
Australia's move to develop smart grid infrastructure has been a key driver. The majority of the streetlights are primarily owned by utilities, but as smart city plans increase, smart street lighting will provide a critical foundational layer.
In the US, according to a new study conducted by Northeast Group, over the next decade, almost 90% of US streetlights will be converted to LEDs, while 38% will be networked.
The vast majority of the country’s 306 largest cities have now either begun or are considering deploying both LED and smart or connected, streetlights.
ComEd in Illinois has announced that they will upgrade 140,000 street lights to smart units and Tampa Electric in Florida recently followed suit.
It is estimated that the ComEd initiative could save Chicago in the region of $10 million annually.
Tampa Electric will install 260 000 Itron smart photocells by 2024.
In New York, the city’s power authority recently allocated $7.5 million dollars in smart streetlighting funding. The City of Syracuse will be the first large municipality in New York to test new streetlight technologies, and the pilot project planned installation of equipment that can expand Wi-Fi, 4G and 5G internet connection capabilities on its streetlights, and install other digital enhancements to city-wide services.
Eurelectric has reported that European cities are aiming to have 10 million smart street lights installed by 2025.
In France, Enedis, the local DSO is piloting the use of street lighting infrastructure and electric vehicle charging. According to Domonique Lagarde, Director of the Electric Mobility Programme for the utility: "We have recently completed a pilot in which we utilised the public lighting grid as charging points and found the right solution to make this work from both a technical and contractual perspective in order to effectively deliver charging infrastructure without having to develop new grids specifically for charging. We are now wanting to roll this out to a larger area.”
The road to the future is lit by smart street lighting – the backbone to technologies that will see cities shaped by new efficiencies, cleaner more sustainable cities, and climate change goals met.