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Streetlight upgrades produce smart cities

Streetlight upgrades are producing "smart" cities.

Streetlight upgrades are producing “smart” cities.

A number of smart cities around the nation are realizing the benefits of upgrading streetlights with more energy​-efficient lights, and more are increasingly choosing to invest in light-emitting diodes (LEDs). According to a report by Pike Research, costs for LEDs have fallen by as much as 50 percent in the last two years, which has helped spark interest in the smart lighting solution.

“Broader investments in smart city infrastructure by municipal governments will boost smart street lighting projects, as the two go hand in hand,” said Pike research analyst Jesse Foote. “Smart street lighting systems can provide a backbone for other smart city applications, and conversely, a city investing in networking capabilities for smart city applications should also be looking to include better management of street lighting.”

City officials are seeing a return on investment by installing LEDs. The lighting solution can save cities and town governments as much as 50 percent on their electricity bills, Fierce Energy reported.

City in Iowa launches streetlight retrofit
A new street lighting project was recently launched by Osage Municipal Utilities (OMU) in Maples, Iowa. The city’s old streetlights will be retrofitted with new LEDs, according to the Mitchell County Press News.

The upgrades will provide brighter lighting in the streets for the residents of Maples because LEDs have more of a natural light appearance as opposed to traditional lights that emit an orange-like glow.

The city will also benefit economically from the new fixtures. LEDs use less power and will allow Maples to cut back on their electric costs. Most of the 70 new LED streetlights will be installed in the busiest areas of Maples, according to the Press News, while the city hopes to install more in the future.

“We are expecting to save about 58,000 kilowatts per year, which equates to an estimated $88,000 avoided cost to OMU spread over the 70,000 hour life of the new LED bulbs,” OMU General Manager Dennis Fannin said.

More natural light allows for a brighter area and reduces the risk of crime. City officials who are considering a streetlight upgrade should contact energy efficiency consultants at Lumenistics for a more details.

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