Smart lighting systems and lampposts
Smart lighting systems and lampposts are often associated with technical problems. Therefore, maintenance costs can be high, especially in small projects. On the one side, new lightning systems save energy but on the other side, they might require more material resources. On a social and behavioural level, politicians might not be engaged and there could be a lack of interest at the beginning of the project. Moreover, benefits to a municipality are not clearly defined yet. There is also no sustainable business model for sensor ecosystems. Difficulties to find a way of making the investment future proof might also appear. Further challenges can be linked to the public procurement which can be lengthy, focused on price, and associated with a lack of experience in innovative procurement as well as a lack of knowledge about new technologies. Furthermore, legacy systems and contracts might also pose risks. The governance might also encounter resistance when it comes to joint working and will realize that the capacity for standards and asset allocation in municipalities is low. Moreover, there might be a lack of examples and use cases.
It is undeniable that the political leadership can drive change and that a lightning system replacement increases employment. To provide incentives to users, cities should not only build a system for local businesses to benefit from but should also demonstrate value of data including social and environmental value. Ambitious cities can also exploit the Lighthouse Programme for tools and capacity instead of doing just another pilot. Furthermore, they should utilize standards to drive change and strengthen business cases and should build a convincing case for politicians and engage with finance too. Collaboration and being transparent with citizens and partners from the beginning may be considered as code of conduct not only since the technology’s multidisciplinary character offers opportunities to do things collectively. Finally, cities should also secure buy-in from legacy arrangements and do always have to think ahead: Where is the potential to exploit? 5G, supporting SMEs, etc.
Plan for Implementation
Cities that are eager to implement smart lighting systems and lampposts should identify and combine learnings from other projects across Europe. Persons in charge can engage with politicians and inhabitants using the guidance from Lighthouse Projects that express the benefits and explain the risks. Furthermore, they can engage with officers using a smart booklet, especially with finance. A workshop to test materials from Lighthouses and to explore the potential of smart lightning can also be conducted. Additionally, they can explore lager pilots and can start to leverage the scale within their own city or other cities while meanwhile continuing smaller tests with new technologies/systems/solutions. It is also advisable to think more from a social than a financial perspective. Concluding, they may also investigate data monitoring.