[IEEE Xplore] Readings on Smart Cities -- [Editorial] Vol. 1, Issue 9, October 2015

Lighting Smart Cities

By Rosaldo J. F. Rossetti

According to The Guardian, “cities represent three quarters of energy consumption and 80% of CO2 emissions worldwide, and represent the largest of any environmental policy challenge.” Because energy plays an imperative role for the development of society, Smart Cities’ endeavours naturally embrace energy related matters as a priority in their policies for the sustainable development of urban settings. Street lighting is an important public service provided to citizens, not only for comfort but also for safety, and certainly represents an area with major opportunities to significantly save electricity. This issue of our Readings on Smart Cities explores how different approaches to public lighting can contribute to reach sustainability in cities through reducing energy consumption and ultimately levels of greenhouse gases (GHG).

We start with the work by Castro, Jara and Skarmeta [1], which presents an approach to reach an interoperable smart lighting solution over the emerging machine-to-machine protocols. Authors’ proposal is focused on promoting the extension of existing street lighting infrastructures with the integration of additional sensors, control and communication capabilities. They first describe the need for a smart lighting system in the context of Smart Cities, and identify important features required to accomplish it. Their discussion also emphasises on the guidelines defined by the IP for Smart Objects Alliance (IPSO Alliance) so as to implement an interoperable semantic level for street lighting. Sanseverino and colleagues [2] give an overview on the concept of smart city and outline the main intervention areas considered at the European level, emphasising on public lighting among the sectors most affected by “smart actions” of Public Administrations. After reviewing some examples of smart and multi-service public lighting, authors propose a retrofit of the public lighting system in a small town in Sicily, Italy, whose “Sustainable Energy Action Plan” aims at reducing, by 2020, its CO2 emissions by at least 20% compared to 2011, taken as the reference year. Lavric, Popa, and Sfichi [3] present a street lighting monitoring and control system based on WSN that enables the remote control of street lighting lamps, aiming to reduce consumption and maintenance costs. Doppler sensors are used to detect vehicles in the area, in which case light intensity increases otherwise maintaining it at a saving state mode. Their architecture also features current sensors allowing for the identification of malfunctioning which enhance maintenance process considerably. Authors present a detailed description of their system which is tested and evaluated in the real environment.

The efficient management of public lighting systems can greatly contribute to energy savings, and ultimately to the reduction of GHG levels. The articles in this issue illustrate how appropriate ICT infrastructures featuring different sensors can facilitate a more efficient and smart lighting of public areas. Considering that a vast amount of the costs related to lighting systems stem from the operation and not from the implementation investment, smart lighting solutions will certainly have an advantageous impact on maintenance expenses as well.

Good readings!


IEEE Xplore References

  1. M. Castro, A. J. Jara and A. F. G. Skarmeta, "Smart Lighting Solutions for Smart Cities," Advanced Information Networking and Applications Workshops (WAINA), 2013 27th International Conference on, Barcelona, 2013, pp. 1374-1379.
  2. E. R. Sanseverino, G. Scaccianoce, V. Vaccaro, G. Zizzo and S. Pennisi, "Smart city and public lighting," Environment and Electrical Engineering (EEEIC), 2015 IEEE 15th International Conference on, Rome, 2015, pp. 665-670.
  3. A. Lavric, V. Popa and S. Sfichi, "Street lighting control system based on large-scale WSN: A step towards a smart city," Electrical and Power Engineering (EPE), 2014 International Conference and Exposition on, Iasi, 2014, pp. 673-676.


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