London To Install iPad-Controlled Street Lights

A London council had a successful pilot scheme earlier this year in testing smart alternatives to street lights, alerting engineers when they are broken or coming to an end of their life. They are now moving forward with this and replacing 14,000 light bulbs that are going to be controlled using an iPad, much like the new Philips “Hue” consumer-controlled housing lighting system we saw last week.

The Westminster City Council will install the lights over the next four years as part of a $5.2 million investment – but it will allow the council to easily recoup their money within seven years. This will save tax payers $680,000 a year from 2015/2016 onwards as well as reducing the Westminster Council’s energy bill by $1.6 million every two years.

Cllr Ed Argar, cabinet member for city management, said: “This provides people in Westminster with the light they require to feel secure and continue to function safely in a 24-hour city.”

For the first time in the UK, a system is electronically monitoring lights and infrastructure – if a bulb needs changing or a wire is broken the system will be able to detect it so an engineer can be dispatched. The system even has the ability to predict when a lamp is likely to fail.

It also carries a function for brightness levels to be lowered or raised at the touch of a button, even from an engineer standing under the lamp column with an iPad and a corresponding application.

This is the future of lighting in London & probably will catch on in other places, what do you think this means for the future of street lights for the US?