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Sensors Make Streetlights Smarter

October 17th 2016

Downtown LA Neighborhood

As a way to curb street lights power consumption and unnecessary light pollution, Geolux (Samobor, Croatia) proposes to selectively and progressively turn on the street lights when they are needed, that is, when a pedestrian or when traffic are detected on the street.

The company has developed radar sensors that can be attached on existing street lamp poles and register movement at distance up to 150 meters for pedestrians and up to 300m for car-sized vehicles. An empty street could be dimmed to only 10% of lighting, and upon presence detection, the ZigBee-enabled radar sensors can send the location of the detected object to nearby street lamps, so those lamps closest to the object can be lit up progressively in a sliding fashion, following the motion of the detected person or car.

When the street is empty again, the lights gradually dim back to minimum intensity levels.
The company demonstrated the concept by setting up smart lighting on a street 300 meters long, with street lamps 30 meters apart from one another. To cover the whole street with radar coverage, two radars were placed on a central lamp pole; each radar observing a different direction.

The two radars monitor movement on the street. When a pedestrian or a vehicle enters the street, one of the two radars in the street registers it and sends signal to the first lamp to increase brightness.

As the object passes by the first lamp, the second one turns on, etc. The speed of dimming the lights up, the duration of keeping the lights at full brightness as well as the speed of dimming the lights down can all be programmed. Using such a technology, Geolux claims it can reduce street lights energy consumption by up to 80%.

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