Jan 7, 2016: The installed base for ‘smart’ street light luminaires is set to grow rapidly, with network controlled nodes set to rise from 2 million in 2014 to 40 million by 2019, states ABI Research.
Alongside the energy savings, lifespan, and quality of light improvements that LEDs offer, the enhanced controllability of this technology through the adoption of intelligent networking solutions has the ability to revolutionize the way cities utilize their street lighting infrastructure in order to deliver an attractive, sustainable, and safer living space, comments Andrew Zignani, Research Analyst.
Power Line Communication (PLC) networking solutions are currently dominant but will face increasing challenges from both Radio Frequency (RF) and cellular technologies over the forecasted period. By 2020, RF solutions will make up over 2/3 of installed smart street light luminaires. While cellular implementations are currently very limited, the independence from the electrical distribution network and the lack of additional gateways required can enable smaller business cases down to the single luminaire level.
However, most municipalities will require a combination of technologies to achieve their ambitions. Though each connectivity solution has its own advantages and disadvantages, due to the vast structural and regional complexities in street lighting infrastructures, a hybrid approach that incorporates a combination of PLC, RF, and cellular technologies, depending on various circumstances and project scale, will need to be adopted in order to ensure the most widespread, reliable, and cost-effective coverage, adds Zignani.
High initial costs, lengthy payback times, and fragmented and proprietary connectivity solutions have all hindered market growth. However, several alternative financial schemes such as energy performance contracts are being adopted in order to remove potential barriers. Many municipalities are also beginning to see the great potential for their street lighting infrastructure to become a foundation on which other smart city and IoE applications can be built.
When upgrading to LED street lighting, city managers may be reluctant to spend the extra funds required on a controlling system, unless this is positioned as a foundation for further smart city development. Integration with other aspects of the smart grid can considerably strengthen the case for networked control adoption. The transition towards IPv6 connectivity solutions will allow greater flexibility in future upgrades and extensions to the smart city network, enabling different organizations, suppliers, and communications methods to integrate together and form a more intelligent, resilient, and sustainable city infrastructure, concludes Zignani.
These findings are part of ABI Research’s IoE Semiconductors Market Research (https://www.abiresearch.com/market-research/service/ioe-semiconductors/).
For more info: www.abiresearch.com
Source: ABI Research press release
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