Proof that smart streetlights can save your city a bundle

Wed, 2014-02-26 06:00 -- Jesse Berst
As you will read in the press release below, a new study has calibrated the money-saving potential of smart streetlights. It's important to note that the savings can come in many ways. One is the energy saved by switching to LEDs. Another is the additional energy saved if the streetlights have sensors that dim them when nobody is nearby. Another is the maintenance saved by a) long-life bulbs that b) tell you when they're out, so you don't need to send people to check.

And yet another savings can come from installing communications modules at the same time you replace the bulbs, thereby giving the city a "canopy network" it can use for a variety of smart city applications.

All in all, smart streetlighting is starting to emerge as an ideal "gateway drug" for smart city projects. -- Jesse Berst

Smart streetlights critical layer of 'Internet of Things;' will save cities $11.3bn per year by 2025

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Across the globe, LED and smart streetlights are helping to establish smart cities and represent a critical layer of the emerging 'Internet of Things.' With rapid urbanization and the rise of global megacities, energy efficiency is becoming critical in public lighting infrastructure. By 2025, cities and municipalities are projected to save$11.3bn (more than 86,000 GWh) per year from efficient LED and smart streetlights. Investment in this technology will reach $72 billion cumulatively by 2025, according to a study published today by Northeast Group, LLC.

Cities and municipalities are beginning to replace their streetlights with more efficient light-emitting diode (LED), or solid-state lighting. They are also increasingly adding communications and sensors to streetlights, part of a larger trend towards the 'Internet of Things,' or embedding networked sensors in physical objects. As rapidly falling prices lead to cost parity with legacy streetlights in the next few years, this market will accelerate.
"There are 281.4 million streetlights in the world and this figure will grow to 339.9 million by 2025," said Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group. "LED and smart streetlights offer clear energy and maintenance savings and increase public safety. For municipal leaders looking to develop smart cities, this new street lighting technology is key. Countries across the world are rapidly urbanizing and need to focus on energy efficiency in their public lighting, especially since this can make up 40% of a city's energy budget."
About one-third of this $72bn market will come from installation services, with the remainder from LED luminaires, communications components and software. Spending is currently concentrated in developed countries, but will expand to emerging markets as costs come down and innovative financing emerges. The World Bank recently pledged $1 billion in financing for LED streetlights and new performance contracting models are emerging.
Northeast Group's Global LED and Smart Street Lighting: Market Forecast (2014 – 2025) study is 105 pages long, including eleven regional forecasts. An additional dataset is available with market forecasts for 125 individual countries in four different market segments (over 17,000 data points). The study analyzed more than 200 LED and smart streetlight projects across the world. To order a copy, please visit: or email Ben Gardner at:
ABOUT: Northeast Group, LLC is a Washington, DC-based smart infrastructure market intelligence firm.  
SOURCE Northeast Group, LLC
Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to learn about the benefits you receive when you join the Council for free.