More towns are implementing smart lighting to save energy while ensuring proper illumination, and the Silicon Valley city of Campbell, California, is no exception. Integrated Device Technology, Inc. (IDT), a subsidiary of Renesas Electronics Corporation, has been asked by Campbell to help make one of its parking lots "intelligent".
The effort began in June with four overhead lights in the City Hall's employee parking lot and will soon expand to six additional overhead lights in the adjacent Police Department parking lot. The project involved replacing sodium vapor bulbs with more efficient, dimmable LED-based lamps and topping the lights with weather-proof 6LoWPAN wireless mesh network modules. These modules connect to Campbell's IT cloud infrastructure, enabling the City's IT staff to monitor all lighting operations continuously.
Smart lighting is a growing trend. A MarketsandMarkets report projects the smart lighting market to grow from $7.93 billion in 2018 to $20.98 billion by 2023, for a CAGR of 21.50%. Cities such as Cleveland are implementing intelligent lighting to improve energy efficiency and deliver other benefits such as improved citizen security.
"The City of Campbell is the latest Silicon Valley city to recognize the numerous advantages of intelligent lighting, but they won't be the last. There are literally millions of lights around the world that can be quickly and easily converted into intelligent lighting at a low cost, while also providing a far more energy-efficient solution with more advanced capabilities," said Rudi Hechfellner, director of sensing technology at IDT, in a statement. “Our comprehensive lines of sensor, wireless networking, power and timing devices make IDT an ideal source when developing intelligent lighting, smart city, and other IoT-related applications."
Campbell may be giving their intelligent lights additional capabilities, such as automatically turning on when people approach the area. This would be accomplished by the lights using advanced artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to discriminate between people, animals, and vehicles – even in low light conditions – rather than relying on the cloud. This would ensure that lights provide illumination immediately rather than experiencing delays when data is first transmitted to the cloud for processing, and an activation signal is eventually sent.