Author Topic: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?  (Read 318 times)

Chris Young

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"Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« on: December 24, 2017, 07:52:50 PM »
I was wondering what the awareness and interest amount is in this technology.  I haven't noticed any threads or even talk about it.  For people who don't know, these are street lights which uses sensors, network connectivity, and even computers to modulate lighting levels.  They may dim themselves or turn off entirely when there's no movement or traffic.  I don't know about you, but the idea of a huge percentage of street lights being closed down each night is pretty exciting to me personally.  Shielding is fine, but a whole lot of that light is still being reflected into the sky by the ground.

What is more, there's a very solid business case to be made to municipalities.  Cost reductions of 50-70% are being thrown around.  Moreover, their sensors can provide information for city planners for items like traffic, even offense.  When there's a correlation between energy usage and light pollution, then could this imply that a 50% decrease in light pollution?

Here is some advice I've been able to discover with this technology:

Intelligent street lighting - Wikipedia
GE Spotlights New Smart Street Lamps
Smart Street Lighting to Reach 73 Million Installed Components by 2026



Kunjan Blanco

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2017, 12:55:21 AM »
Hey I like it  I've been battling light pollution for years and have seen numerous long-term studies showing around a 15% increase in cancer from light pollution (of course there are other types of pollution and processed meat which increase it even more) but specifically from light pollution, the two types of cancer that are seeing an increase are prostate and breast cancer, because light pollution confuses the body not to secrete enough "shut down" hormones like melatonin when the body is supposed to be asleep. I also notice a much higher level of stress and sleeping problems when i am in the city as opposed to my other home, in the mountains.

Henry Edward

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2017, 02:43:55 AM »
Other aspects of these "smart" street lights is cameras, microphones and motion sensors that watch everything that goes on in your neighborhood.

Milan Gainer

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2017, 04:07:53 PM »
Such systems do work and have been in place in a number of towns and small cities on other continents for some time. However, it is unlikely that you will ever see them catch on in the U.S.A. Our society is far too law suit crazy, people looking for any excuse to create a civil law suit. Have a person walking down a street at night where street lights come on only as they approach and someone is waiting in the bushes ahead in the dark and even if the light there comes on at the pedestrian's approach and they are attacked, the town will be sued for its lungs for creating a dangerous environment/public safety hazard. Same with a vehicle exceeding the speed limit on a public street. The claim can still be made if the vehicle crashes that the lighting was not sufficient for driver safety purposes, even if the driver was speeding. Examples abound. Sadly, our future will only bring more lights, not less.

BrooksObs

ticploodunghen

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 10:11:39 AM »
Quote
Such systems do work and have been in place in a number of towns and small cities on other continents for some time. However, it is unlikely that you will ever see them catch on in the U.S.A. Our society is far too law suit crazy, people looking for any excuse to create a civil law suit.

Well, I've got good news for you: this year, Chicago and San Diego chose to invest hundreds of millions in smart lighting. Obviously, these are pretty big fish and their example will make it a lot easier for other cities to follow suit.

The only question in my mind is how much impact on light pollution this will have. They may choose to use the shut-off and dimming features very conservatively, although they are of course incentivized to use it liberally as it directly translates to cost savings. It's hard to predict right now, though.

Eric Guffey

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 06:52:03 PM »
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Such systems do work and have been in place in a number of towns and small cities on other continents for some time. However, it is unlikely that you will ever see them catch on in the U.S.A.

I don't know; my own city of Cambridge, MA, had a number of streetlights with motion sensors on them prior to the recent replacement of all streetlights with LEDs. Only problem was that somebody wired in the motion sensors backward, so the lights went out when you walked under them ... not exactly what was intended, I think.

The new LED lights are turned down at 10 p.m. to about 50% of their normal output (which in turn is about 70% of their maximum). As far as I know, nobody has complained. And the sky does get palpably darker when the lights dim.

Yung Pryor

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2018, 02:19:01 AM »
Turning down the lights late at night is common sense and perhaps the only possible middle ground between those that are afraid of the dark and those that appreciate the night sky.

fucheatisu

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 04:00:48 PM »
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Other aspects of these "smart" street lights is cameras, microphones and motion sensors that watch everything that goes on in your neighborhood.

Surveillance state popping up its ugly head again meh.

galpaydabta

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 05:40:16 PM »
If we can get properly shielded lights (not just street lights...ordinances need to cover other installations as well to eliminate random lateral and upward lighting) and lights that dim and/or work off motion sensors then our skies will become darker. I am seeing evidence of that locally where adjacent street lighting has been converted around me, but not my neighborhood. The not-so-old, buthideous unshielded cobra head HPS lamps were producing more visible light pollution (and confirmed with my meters) than the new LED's. I stepped outside half an hour ago and got my best SQM-L readings yet in the back yard in transparent conditions. This despiteseveral new neighborhoods and a school being built around me in the past year.

bankrybettdog

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2018, 11:49:25 PM »
My only reply, Tony and Treadmarks, is to give the situation some time for the potential law suits to pile up. I've seen this potential law suit situation played out in my own and surrounding towns many times in recent years in this and associated areas. The town fathers pass an ordinance that makes the appearance of the town nicer. Then a number of big suits are brought as a result of it and undermine the rulings turning around all the good intents of town fathers. Lighting is only one of the situations that law suits attack these days.

Sixty years in the hobby has demonstrated only one great certainty to me: outdoor lighting will only increase in its intensity and will endlessly spread over time. There is neither respite, nor reversal, of that situation no matter the hopes and claims otherwise.

BrooksObs

Jason Pederes

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 05:15:59 AM »
I always thought the Australian Outback would be safe, however...

https://www.energyma...s-uluru-em5398/

Antarctica next?

Scott Bentley

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2018, 08:16:26 AM »
Hello Ring,

You might wish to wear a sleep mask when you sleep in your city home, to help mitigate the impact of light pollution on your sleep there.

Since they're cheap enough, I bought several brands from Amazon. I found one for $10 that (a) is oversized, to keep light from sneaking in around the edges and (b) has two straps to keep it from shifting around or falling off nearly as easily as the masks with just one strap. Search online for "alaska bear silk sleep mask". I bought 10 for myself (so I always have a clean supply) and hand them out as gifts, too.

Regarding melatonin, what have you learned via your reading about melatonin supplements? I take a 3mg tablet every night. Have you read of any risks?

-ncrit

salonpeli

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2018, 11:21:13 AM »
Light Pollution has never shown to reduce crime rates, on the contrary it actually makes it easier for the criminals to see what they are doing. The best kind of lighting is the kind you see in Venice, Italy and some parts of the SW, where the lights are pointed down and not up.

Regarding melatonin, it actually comes recommended for such situations as jet lag and sleeping problems. I haven't seen any side effects with normal doses and it's certainly MUCH safer than drugs like Ambien, which have been known to cause sleepwalking and other even worse side effects (including committing acts of violence or operating vehicles while sleepwalking.)

Thanks NCRIT, I think the sleep mask could do double duty and help me adapt my night vision more quickly when I do go out into the country to do stargazing.

Cameron Artist

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 01:04:50 AM »
Quote
Quote

Such systems do work and have been in place in a number of towns and small cities on other continents for some time. However, it is unlikely that you will ever see them catch on in the U.S.A. Our society is far too law suit crazy, people looking for any excuse to create a civil law suit.

Well, I've got good news for you: this year, Chicago and San Diego chose to invest hundreds of millions in smart lighting. Obviously, these are pretty big fish and their example will make it a lot easier for other cities to follow suit.

The only question in my mind is how much impact on light pollution this will have. They may choose to use the shut-off and dimming features very conservatively, although they are of course incentivized to use it liberally as it directly translates to cost savings. It's hard to predict right now, though.
>The only question in my mind is how much impact on light pollution this will have. They may choose to use the shut-off and dimming features very conservatively...........

.....and that is the reason for a continued push for anti-LP laws and local/state"activism" by amateur astronomers. Setting at your PC and complaining is pretty much assured to accomplish nothing.

BTW, I have posted over the years about these "smart lighting systems", and it seems that at least some USA cities are implementing them now. To the best of my knowledge they do not involve video cameras, but other types of sensors, mostly weather and traffic rate sensors. What times, traffic and weather conditions equal what lighting level is programmable into the system. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Lighting Research Institute (for profit I believe http://www.lrc.rpi.edu/) has been a long-time proponent and designer of such systems and will assist local gov with them - in addition to design needed to comply with the anti-LP laws in the New England states for example. The RPI Lighting Research Center has the "science" and data to back up there claims...... in court if necessary...... and they have lawyers too.

I think it is only a matter of time before "smart lighting" spreads to many out-door light systems (and indoor too), simply because it is cost effective, and provides more effective lighting.

viogreetnifi

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2018, 04:41:27 AM »
Quote
Light Pollution has never shown to reduce crime rates, on the contrary it actually makes it easier for the criminals to see what they are doing........


Yes but....... As I have also posted in the past...... One example: The "town fathers & mothers" of State College PA city government fully agreed, but...... The Mayor said "Since the brighter lights make the Penn State students *feel* safer, we need to keep them anyway, even tho they probably don't reduce crime." .....and so they did..... It will take a great deal of effort to convince people of the truth here.