NEWS IN THE WORLD OF POWER AND INTEGRATED BUILDING SYSTEMS
22 ELECTRICALCONTRACTOR | SEP. 14 | WWW.ECMAG.COM
> THE EVOLUTION OF LIGHTING technology is touching every aspect of society.
Smart technology and alternative sources
of energy are similarly expanding their
reach, leading to a range of innovations
even in street lighting.
After determining that traditional
street lighting was prohibitively expensive
to install, Premiere Homes LLC, a Virginia
residential and commercial builder, chose
to install top-of-pole-mounted commercial solar outdoor lighting systems as
part of a new neighborhood development
called Randolph West in Richmond, Va.
The solar-powered systems were
able to save the city time, money and the
disruptions associated with installing
underground wires. The efficient installa-
tion of the solar lights also considerably
lessened the traffic, parking and noise
effects on the new neighborhood while
providing a sustainable and efficient
“As we were developing the infrastructure for Randolph West, it soon
became clear that grid-tied street
lighting would be much less efficient
and would add significant time to the
project,” said Sean Bowers, chief operating officer at Premiere Homes.
As lighting evolves and smart technology expands, local projects like Randolph
West are taking place all over the country.
According to a recent study, “smart
street lighting” is on the rise. Boulder,
Colo.-based market research firm Navi-
gant reports that light-emitting diodes
(LEDs) and network-controlled systems
are helping to drive this trend. Navigant
released the report, “Smart Street Light-
ing,” in July. It identifies a number of fac-
tors that have led to this convergence.
Foremost among them, falling prices
have triggered a worldwide transition
from older lamp technologies to newer,
more efficient and more controllable
LEDs. The change is happening so fast,
Navigant reports that some manufactur-
ers of street lamps are even discontinuing
their non-LED product lines.
The report notes that LED street
lights offer a number of other advantages, including improved nighttime
visibility and cost savings from reduced
energy consumption and lower maintenance requirements.
All of these factors are contributing
to what Navigant projects will be “nearly
a complete takeover” of the market by
LEDs. The report forecasts that the global
market share of LEDs in street lighting
will grow from 53. 3 percent in 2014 to
93. 8 percent in 2023.
The other side of the equation is the
application of smart, networked systems
to street lights. The two technologies go
well together, and according to Navigant,
the growth of LEDs is driving the adoption of new networked street light systems. Unlike LEDs, the latter technology
has some hurdles to overcome, including
the lack of standardization and questions
about the best networking technology to
employ, power line or radio frequency
versus mesh or point-to-multipoint.
As a light source, it’s no secret LEDs
are making a strong bid for general service
replacements, but with such broad, comprehensive applications, their reach may
be farther than originally anticipated.
—MIKE BRESLIN AND RICK LAEZMAN
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