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Smart LED lights for smart cities

Smart LED lights for smart cities

By BizLED Bureau

September 15, 2015: Budget 2014 has proposed to set up 100 smart cities across the country that will provide all modern amenities, including safe and energy efficient lighting systems. Today LED technology has advanced so much that it can meet the requirements of various applications. Functional and sustained lighting of public squares, streets, buildings, offices, etc, are possible with modern LED technology.

With the Budget 2014 offering to develop smart cities, LED lighting will be suitable to make these smart cities smarter by cost cutting, energy efficiency, and can ensure better quality of life and safety. This will also improve the city’s image. Many cities are developing master plans for smart cities and harmonising with the requirements of modern lighting, that is LED lighting.

Smart LED lights can improve city’s image

Smart cities require proper lighting atmosphere and various lighting characteristics. For example, the lighting system in buildings or even different objects need specified colour light and colour temperature. In fact, an interplay needs to be produced between lighting, architecture and quality of life. The extremely long life, the dynamic adaptation of light, high level of efficiency and many other factors make LED lighting systems suitable for these smart cities.The aesthetic shape and the individual design of modern LED luminaires can also improve the city’s image significantly.

Moreover, lighting plays an important part in improving the quality of life of the citizens, which, in turn, is a very important factor that makes a city attractive. Smart LED lights not only enhance architectural details, but also a city’s quality of life, particularly because of their improved luminous intensity, compared to high-pressure mercury vapour or sodium vapour lamps. Also, because of the factor of adjusting the light’s emission angle according to the desired lighting effect.

The key advantages of smart LED lights make it an instant choice of the planners of these smart cities. These benefits include the ability to control lighting zones, to dim lighting levels, to turn on/off instantly, to combine with sensors for occupancy detection, etc. The reduced lifetime operating costs through lower energy use and easier, cheaper maintenance, besides improved safety, security, and comfort are also proving to be increasingly persuasive with the planners of the smart cities.

Let?s see how the different characteristics of LED lighting are suitable for urban lighting.

White LED lights: Compared to the yellowish high pressure mercury vapour lamps, LED lamps have white light that brings out the strengths of buildings, trees and streets much better at night. The yellowish lights make it difficult to distinguish colors at night and gives objects and buildings an unnatural effect. This is one important reason to switch to LED lighting in smart cities.

The greater brightness of white LED lights increases visibility on the road. Objects, persons and buildings are more easily recognizable in while light. Thus the number of traffic accidents, for example, can be reduced. According to a report, car drivers can detect persons at the edge of the road earlier and from a greater distance when there is white street lighting. Pedestrians, too, recognise obstacles more quickly than in yellow light of sodium vapour lights.

White light also enhances the quality of images in video surveillance systems and thus supports investigations by the authorities.

White lights also range in colour temperatures, ranging from cold white to warm white. In public squares and in malls, warm white lights can be used to produce a comfortable atmosphere with colour temperatures of about 3,000 Kelvin. On the other hand, neutral white lights can be used as streetlights, which promote safety on the streets. For glass and steel, a cooler light is chosen, whereas brick façades look more natural in warm white light.

Directional LED lighting: With smart LED lights, suitable lighting is possible for any type of area–historical part of a city, parks, residential areas or roads with high traffic volumes. Warm white LED light, with colour temperature of approximately between 2,700 and 3,300 kelvin, can make historical parts of a city or parks and residential areas warm and friendly. On the other hand, with high level of efficiency, LED luminaires with neutral white light provide the necessary lighting for streets and roads with traffic.

Directional light distribution with reflector technology: Directional light produced by high-power LEDs are particular suitable for street sections and objects that need to be precisely illuminated. By using lighting with reflector technology can prevent the light to be scattered, hence the adjacent areas will not be illuminated and residents will not get disturbed. On the other hand, highly economical white light does not cause direct emission into the night sky and thus prevents light pollution.

Dynamic light adaptation:With the help of electronic control gears (ECG), LED luminaires can be adapted in any way to meet the outdoor conditions. ECG makes it possible to use time controls in LED lighting, and thus it is possible to adapt it to the existing light level or the traffic density automatically.

Intelligent light management systems: Intelligent light management systems can control the lighting systems centrally or by sensors. As LED lights? have extremely high efficiency level, they can be used with increased frequency, which can only be reset or switched on or off at ease.

Maintenance benefits

Major cost savings can be accrued in terms of maintenance of LED lighting. LED devices typically last at least 25 times longer than the conventional lighting, and often as much as 50 times or even 100 times longer. Remote monitoring means that failed elements can be easily detected and located. From the design perspective, LED arrays and modules are designed for easy component replacement.

Business opportunity

A Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) report highlighted the potential for LEDs to reduce electricity demand for lighting in India, which consumes 22-25 per cent of the total national load. Demand at the peak time increase the rate of consumption, which is a matter of concern, it increases the need for more power plants to supply the necessary load.

The BEE report pointed out that residential electricity demand has a significant potential market for LED A-lamps. There are 400 million lamps in Indian households, mostly incandescent bulbs, consuming 70 million MWh annually. The penetration of LEDs in this sector could reduce household electricity use by 30 per cent. Street lighting applications and commercial buildings are other areas where LEDs also need to be promoted, BEE had stressed.

Public lighting in India requires approximately 4400 MW of connected load, so by installing LED street lights, about 50-70 per cent energy can be reduced.

Vendor base

Besides the manufacturers and traders, who can take the opportunity of the business that is brewing, designers can also enter this fast growing lighting market. Like any emerging sector, the vendor base is somewhat fragmented, with solutions based around different and multiple aspects of the overall system, including LED drivers, control circuitry, dimmers, connectors, microcontrollers as well as the LED specialists themselves.

Several traditional microcontroller specialists, for example, are providing modules, reference designs, and development kits for LED lighting schemes. The systems solutions providers can emerge as the lucky ones as they can take the opportunity of this business.

Key barriers to the market penetration of LEDs in India

A Bureau of Energy Efficiency report identified the key barriers to the market penetration of LEDs in India, as follows:

    ? Limited product availability in India;
    ? High initial cost, even with carbon finance assisting;
    ? Absence of national technical standards for LEDs, leading to the importation of sub-standard LED devices;
    ? Lack of testing protocols and laboratories;
    ? Lack of incentives such as demand or fiscal measures to attract major LED firms to manufacture in India.

Benefits of the high efficiency LED streetlights

    ? Greater energy efficiency
    ? Reduction in maintenance
    ? Longer life
    ? Improved visibility
    ? Minimum lumen depreciation
    ? More and focused light
    ? Minimal wasted light
    ? Instant-on.

None of the facts and figures mentioned in the story have been created by BizLED.co.in. BizLED is not responsible for any factual errors.
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