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How Europe is Planning to Modernise its Streetlights
As Europe fosters its smart cities, its lampposts are undergoing smart transformations that are paving the way for greater functionality.
FREMONT, CA: The strategic position that streetlights occupy in cities makes them highly valued assets. Modernising the streetlights by adding diverse functionalities that go beyond lighting can further enhance the value of the assets. Europe is today one of the biggest markets for smart street lighting solutions. This should not come as a surprise since the region has been proactive in developing smart infrastructure for its cities. Many European cities have today formulated plans to convert simple lights into technological breakthroughs. The EU has also devised the Humble Lamppost project to make streetlights an integral aspect of smart city development.
The prospects of improving energy efficiency and sustainability are significant when modernisation of streetlights is considered. Replacing older bulbs with energy-saving bulbs can also reduce energy bills by a considerable margin. However, by supplementing the bulb replacements with other improvements in functionality, cities can benefit in several new ways.
The Humble Lamppost project in Europe, for instance, recognises the usability of lampposts as aides in traffic monitoring and data collection. By equipping lampposts with sensors, a city-wide network of effective monitoring stations can be established. This will provide consistent and accurate data, allowing authorities to improve traffic management. Besides, air quality sensors can provide real-time data regarding pollution levels across the cities. Physical security will see improvements with streetlights enabling intelligent monitoring round-the-clock.
5G has a lot of promise when it comes to making a city smarter. Many European cities are thus considering streetlights to host WiFi networks. The coverage of the ubiquitous streetlamps will then translate into extensive 5G coverage and free 5G connections for the city dwellers. Many such innovative possibilities are now driving authorities in European cities towards converting mere streetlamps into technology-powered smart alternatives. If things go as per plan, European cities might soon host millions of smart lampposts, becoming a role model for smart cities across the globe. Smart lighting solutions scaled across Europe's cities can be a long term value-addition in favour of smart urban development.
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