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Smart Connected Streetlamps Illustrate Smart Cities, IoT Capabilities

December 14, 2015 By Steve Senne in

When is a streetlamp not just a streetlamp? The answer: When it’s a “connected” streetlamp that performs many valuable activities in addition to providing public lighting. A connected streetlamp is providing New Yorkers an illustration of how the ¨Internet of Things¨ can improve living conditions in smart cities, according to GE. In addition to news and infotainment, the connected, LED streetlamps produce and analyze data and notify passersby about available parking spaces, air quality and traffic conditions. They’re also improving the ability of emergency services personnel to respond to incidents.

GE´s recently launched Current business group is looking forward to the possibility of New York City’s government deciding to replace existing streetlights with smart LED streetlamps as part of its ¨Smart City, Equitable City¨ program. That may in turn become a standard nationwide, GE highlights in a GE Reports’ blog post.

Connected Streetlamps

Notably, the connected streetlamps can distribute information to emergency first responders prior to their arrival at the scene of an incident. In addition, GE installed public safety tech provider SST´s ShotSpotter in the connected LED streetlamps. Once wired, they are able to detect gunfire in real-time and alert police patrol cars and 911 emergency phone operators. They can also ping smartphones to provide the precise location of shooting incidents.

Thousands of connected LED streetlights equipped with real-time sensors and microprocessors have already been installed in Jacksonville, Florida and San Diego, California. The data collected is processed and analyzed by GE’s cloud-based Predix ¨Industrial Internet¨ platform.

Much more energy efficient, ¨repurposing¨ more than 3,000 streetlamps with GE LEDS has yielded savings of more than $350,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs, GE points out.