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What is public lighting and why is it important?

It’s easy to take public lighting for granted. City dwellers are accustomed to streetlights and public safety after dark and probably don’t give it a second thought. Yet this basic service provided by municipal authorities is so important that it’s hard to imagine a city without public lighting. Public lighting mostly refers to streetlights, which are available in a number of forms, from the most traditional - lamp posts and wall lights, for example – to cutting-edge, low visual impact units.


Here are a few reasons why public lighting infrastructure is important:

  • Enhanced road safety. Almost 50% of fatal car accidents happen at night, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Low visibility on dark streets is one of the causes.   
  • Reduced crime. Law enforcement officials and city governments have been studying the links between street lighting and crime for decades. Well-lit streets make people feel safer and are likely to deter crime. 
  • Increased productivity. Public lighting makes it easier for people to return to their homes from their workplace at any time of day or night. 
  • Sense of community. New lighting is an effective way for municipal governments to demonstrate their commitment to communities. Well-lit streets create a sense of pride and well being.
  • Urban renewal. Enel X installed 628 new smart lighting points along a 14 kilometer bike path in São Paulo, Brazil as part of the Novo Rio Pinheiros redevelopment of an adjacent area aimed at encouraging people to use the river’s banks. 
City governments now have a new range of energy-efficient and flexible options for street lighting to improve safety. 

What is smart public lighting?

Today, most of the public lighting infrastructure is still reliant on outdated technology based on traditional light sources. These street lights run on higher energy consumption levels compared to what is achievable with smart lighting systems. City governments can save energy and money by replacing the current public lighting infrastructure with innovative LED lamp posts and cutting-edge solutions that guarantee substantial energy and economic savings, as well as improved security, life quality and opportunities to its dwellers. 


These new smart lighting systems are managed remotely by software that offers municipalities a chance to provide a better lighting service.

Smart Public Lighting

Smart Public Lighting

Shedding new light on the smart cities of the future

Managers can track energy consumption, monitor faults, and provide additional services like adaptive illumination, video surveillance, and environmental monitoring through a Control Room, a simple and intuitive interface that improves the management of the lighting infrastructure.

What are the advantages of smart public lighting?

The technical development of public lighting infrastructure has been shaped by the need for local authorities to fulfill two requirements: limiting energy consumption and reducing light pollution. The most innovative technical solutions involve the use of remotely managed LED units. This Smart Lighting technology means units can be managed in a more innovative and efficient way, enabling users to:

e-City Toolbox - Streets

  • Cut energy consumption by around 65% and generate a further 20% in savings by adjusting light output according to vehicle traffic needs, delivering a reduction in CO2 footprint. This is a key consideration for cities with a rapidly growing population.
  • Manage units more effectively through longer product life and reduced labor requirements, thereby reducing maintenance costs. Smart street lights can  more accurately predict when lamps need changing.
  • Improve lighting quality by using the latest generation microchips, enabling a high color rendering that turns the surrounding environment in a well-lit and pleasant milieu.
  • Increased functionality. When equipped with sensors or cameras, smart lighting systems can monitor traffic, parking, and air quality.

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