IMC Newsdesk

Signify backs New York streetlight scheme

  • July 7, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has partnered with Signify to support a project launched in 2018 to replace at least half of the more than a million streetlights in the state with energy-efficient and sustainable alternatives.
Through the programme, NYPA provides financial, logistical, technical and informational support for cities that want to upgrade their street lighting systems.
With connected LED luminaires and Dutch firm Signify’s Interact City IoT lighting system, cities can reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint, and make cities more liveable and safer for citizens. To date, more than 50,000 LED streetlights have been installed or are being installed under the programme.
The collaboration between NYPA and a growing number of municipalities in New York demonstrates the role that connected street lighting can play in building smart city infrastructure.
“In addition to illumining roadways, street lighting systems are essential vertical assets in smart city deployments,” said Gil Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “Municipalities can save money on their utility bills and maintenance costs by adopting connected LED lighting while leveraging the value of their street lighting systems for additional benefits.”
As part of the project, NYPA devised a financing model that offers municipalities low-rate loans for lighting conversions, including the option to buy the physical street lighting assets from local utilities. Signify, formerly Philips Lighting, acts not only as a tech provider, but as an advisor to and strategic partner of both NYPA and participating municipal governments.
“The platform opens up a variety of options for city maintenance and governance,” said Abebe Woldemariam, street lighting programme coordinator for the city of Rochester. “With Interact City, we can now remotely monitor the system via a central dashboard, identifying required maintenance very quickly. Should any glitch occur, the system pro-actively prompts managers even before our residents have noticed, and that’s a big plus.”
While lighting is only one aspect of a total smart city ecosystem, it can lay the groundwork for citywide connected infrastructure. Once connected streetlights are installed and managed with Interact City, a municipality can add sensors to monitor various aspects of the system and environment, improving urban quality of life and management.
By deploying streetlight tilt, vibration and noise sensors on connected streetlights, for example, the city municipality can help protect roads and drivers by rectifying streetlights and poles when they are out of position and identify areas where noise reduction measures are needed.
With its open APIs, Interact City can share data collected via sensors with the IT systems of fire fighters, emergency medical services and other first responders, enabling them to react more quickly when incidents occur. In addition, streetlight smart poles, such as BrightSites, can serve as suitable places on which to hang cellular equipment bundles and host wifi transmitters for online access or even act as charging stations for electric vehicles.
“Urbanisation, digitalisation and sustainability continue to drive key actions associated with smart city engagement, even in today’s climate,” said Martin Stephenson, head of North America for Signify. “With this in mind, Signify is extremely excited to be partnering with NYPA to support the delivery of our connected lighting systems and to benefit the people in the towns and cities of New York above and beyond pure illumination. Through NYPA and Signify’s shared vision, communities can improve light quality, generate significant energy savings, and improve citizen safety and wellbeing using leading edge technologies.”
Signify’s development of connected lighting systems, including Interact City, is based on a certified secure development process which has been awarded the IEC62443-4-1 security certification by Dekra.