Russell Fletcher 29 May 2014

Street light controls come of age

Street light controls come of age image

The announcement in December that Transport for London (TfL) is to spend £10.9m upgrading more than 35,000 streetlights and installing a state-of-the art central management system to operate them illustrates that using control technology on our roads has become mainstream.

Technological advances are such that TfL expects to save £1.5m a year in energy costs and reduce carbon emissions by around 9,700 tonnes a year by the time the system is fully implemented in 2016.

There are 7.5 million street- lights in the UK costing over £500m to run and maintain. Their environmental impact is equally significant: these lights emit around 830,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, making street lighting one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. TfL’s choice of control technology – the ‘LeafNut’ system, an advanced monitoring and control solution for outdoor lighting from Harvard Engineering – will make a large dent in these costs, offering proven savings of up to 40%.

The system operates wirelessly using GPS and radio frequency, which means that it can be retrofitted just as easily as it can be installed into new systems.

Lights can be dimmed individually or in groups from a computer, laptop, tablet, as well as integrating with asset management and traffic flow monitoring systems.

TfL will be able to align the system with traffic movement and road usage, dimming lights according to location and the time of night. However, if an accident or emergency should occur, lights can be brought up to full capacity at the touch of a button.

TfL will also be able to reduce maintenance costs by keeping track of light failures thanks to LeafNut’s unique two-way flow of information, which provides scheduled reports by email. Comprehensive data is supplied on lamp status, thereby removing the need for night scouting teams, along with a detailed breakdown of energy spend so that lamps can be adjusted in response to energy reduction targets.

TfL plans further upgrades over the next 10 years, with most of London’s streetlights to be LED by 2023, as part of a £4bn investment in the capital’s roads.

LeafNut is fully designed and manufactured in the UK and is a British manufacturing success story with over 100 installations across the world, including the City of Westminster, Sydney, Hobart and Nashville. This latest high-profile contract, described by TfL as an ‘invest to save’ project, is likely to bring this advanced technology into even greater focus. As mayor of London, Boris Johnson comments: ‘With tens of thousands of lights marking the way on our road network it makes complete sense to focus energy and resources on bringing them up to 21st Century standards.’

Russell Fletcher is sales and marketing director at Harvard Engineering.

This feature first appeared in Local Government News magazine. Register for your free copy here

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Programme Management Office

Hoople Recruitment
£55.001 - £59.609
The role of the Head of Programme Management Office is the lead professional advisor to the Council on the delivery of... Hereford, Herefordshire
Recuriter: Hoople Recruitment

Hylands Manager

Chelmsford City Council
£43,836 - £48,309
We are looking for the right person with the vision, drive and energy to meet the high expectations the Council has for Hylands House. Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Partnership Coordinator

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£31,800 - £43,000 per annum
Are you passionate about making connections between people and making things happen? Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Business Support Assistant

City of York Council
£18,360 to £19,477 per annum
The successful candidates will be dealing with highly confidential and sensitive information about vulnerable service users. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Campaigns Lead

Barnet London Borough Council
£38,799.00 - £43,590.00 Per Annum
We are looking for an experienced communications and campaigns professional with a strong public sector or health background. Colindale, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Barnet London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue