Street lighting is set to become “smart”

The number of smart street lighting devices shipped will increase over the next five years to more than 3.4 million in 2017.


IMS Research (acquired by IHS)IMS Research (recently acquired by IHS Inc.) forecasts that the uptake of smart lighting systems will increase considerably over the next five years, with more than 13.6 million smart street lighting components being shipped between 2010 to 2017.

According to IMS Research’s recently published report The World Market for Connected Lighting Controls – 2012 Edition, the number of smart street lighting devices shipped will increase over the next five years to more than 3.4 million in 2017. Retrofit connectivity modules are projected to account for the majority of these shipments with most street smart lighting installations taking advantage of existing street lights.

One of the main drivers for the uptake of smart street lighting systems is to reduce energy. While this can be done by replacing existing street lighting sources with LED street lights, which can dramatically reduce energy consumption, adding lighting controls is a lower cost solution. Another important benefit of installing lighting controls is the ability to reduce maintenance costs. Traditionally, faults are reported by the public, or by routine maintenance vans; however with street lighting control systems, faults can be detected centrally, reducing the need for routine maintenance checks.

According to IMS Research Analyst Phillip Maddocks, “The biggest driver for the uptake of smart street lighting controls is to reduce energy consumption. Currently, street lighting can account for almost 40 percent of a city’s power consumption, so being able to intelligently manage it is critical to reducing it. Because of this we will see, uptake of intelligent street lighting controls in most regions, primarily in the form of retrofit connectivity modules using power line technologies such as LonWorks (over powerline).”

Another key driver behind the uptake of street lighting controls is the creation of an expandable infrastructure. By installing an intelligent lighting control system, cities can scale it up to manage other systems and improve their energy use and performance. Other systems that can also be integrated include traffic signals, energy meters, pollution sensors, parking-lot lights, and traffic sensors. These can all been integrated using the street-lighting control system as the backbone to provide connectivity. This can further reduce energy consumption as well as improving the performance of other systems and functions in a municipal region, effectively creating a “smart city.”

Maddocks also stated that “As well as reducing the energy consumed by street lights, the installation of such systems can also provide the backbone to a much larger system which can provide far more control of a variety of different systems. This centralized control can then reduce energy costs over several sectors in addition to reducing maintenance costs. It is quite possible that such systems will also provide the stimulus and the backbone for the creation of smart cities, in which several different aspects, such as metering, are all integrated into one system.”

IMS Research’s recently published Connectivity Opportunities in Lighting Controls – 2012 Edition, provides market estimates (2010 and 2011), and forecasts by year (to 2017) of the number of connected lighting devices shipped globally and in the three major regions (Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific), for the three key application areas (commercial lighting, residential lighting, and street lighting). Market share estimates are presented in this report for the major lighting control manufacturers for both 2010 and 2011.

This study also provides full analysis, market estimates and forecasts for the adoption of both wired and wireless technology in each lighting-control device type, by major region and by application. Additional segmentation also includes analysis by integration method (IC or module).

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