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Smart Street Lighting Management System

Los Angeles

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  • Fast Facts

    City :




    Year Implemented



    Region : North America

    National GDP Per Capita (USD) : 62,517 (IMF, 2018)

    City Population: 3,980,000

    Year Implemented : 2015

    National Gini Index : 41.5 (World Bank, 2016)


    Technologies Utilized : Open systems, LED, sensors, remote access, Internet of Things (IoT)

    Funding Source :

    Project Cost : N/A

    Project Savings : 63% ($9.5 million USD)

    Planned Project Duration : N/A

    KPIs : Reduction in energy usage, reduction in annual operational and maintenance costs

  • Project Context and Overview

    Los Angeles is exploring smart city applications that build on connected lighting infrastructure to realize value beyond illumination. The Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting collaborated with Philips Lighting on a program that utilizes CityTouch connected street lighting management and connected sensors. To create additional value from the public lighting system they converted 140,000 of its 215,000 street lights to LED and attached sensors to these light poles. These sensors are part of an open systems approach and can be used to monitor environmental noise for quieter streets and healthier citizens, and to monitor the lighting power grid for more reliable and responsive operations.

    In addition, the LA Bureau of Street Lighting can remotely control lighting fixtures, as well as monitor energy use and the status of each light. Using mobile chip technology embedded into each fixture, the street lights are able to identify themselves and network instantly.

    The new technology confirms LA’s Bureau of Street Lighting as a trailblazer in next generation LED street lighting with a new solution that saves energy, reduces maintenance, and provides quality lighting that makes streets safer for LA residents. The technology also supports Mayor Garcetti’s Great Streets initiative, promoting the revitalization of neighborhoods through more pedestrian-friendly streets for LA’s citizens.

  • Project Planning and Implementation

    In April 2015, Royal Philips announced that the City of Los Angeles will become the first city in the world to control its street lighting through an advanced Philips management system that uses mobile and cloud-based technologies.

    While CityTouch is already in use in 31 countries, the LA solution is the first in the world connecting directly to each light point using the Philips CityTouch connector node, which can connect street lights from any manufacturer. This extends the life of legacy and LED systems alike, enabling them to become connected light points. CityTouch gives the Bureau of Street Lighting a clear picture of the entire city’s lighting system at its fingertips, with map-based visualization, charts, and diagrams. The combination of LED technology and management software enable the Bureau to better manage its assets, while Los Angeles benefits from the increased uptime, with safer, well-lit streets.

    The 215,000 street lights in Los Angeles include more than 400 different styles distributed across 7,500 miles of roadway. Maintenance has traditionally depended on crews who scout the streets at night to identify outages, as well as calls from citizens. The bureau handles 40,000 such calls per year. They needed to find new technology that could improve customer service, make people feel safer, and create a more livable city.

    According to Ed Ebrahimian, director of the Bureau of Street Lighting for the City of Los Angeles, the city has more LED street lights than any other city in America, with about 7,500 centerline miles. This required a solution that would allow them to remotely control street lights and accurately report how much energy each light is consuming, while also being easy to install and flexible enough to adapt to broader Smart City plans. They piloted several solutions over 2014 and decided to implement CityTouch as it required no further investment or intervention in their infrastructure, and it is regarded as the best product at the lowest price.

    Connected street lights provide the Bureau of Street Lighting with luminaire health data to increase maintenance planning effectiveness and cost savings. In the future, coupled with grid health information, this aggregated data will enable advanced maintenance models. The city also installed microphones on connected street lights to collect noise data at the street level. Visualization software creates realtime and historical timelines using this data, along with map and list views of code violations and alerts. Such visualizations help the city to maintain code compliance, assess urban policy, and respond adequately to noise complaints. Sharing noise data with the public raises awareness about noise pollution and provides quantitative evidence for the city’s mitigation efforts.

  • Project Results

    The smart plug and play approach of the street lighting management system not only reduces the cost of programming each fixture, it also reduces the time of commissioning from days to minutes and eliminates on-site commissioning completely. Furthermore, the entire system can be securely controlled and managed remotely through any web browser. These innovations have reduced the city’s energy usage for street lighting by over 63%, saving at least US$9.5 million annually in operational and maintenance costs.

    Network complexity, increasing power demand, and lack of effective fault monitoring increase the risk of power grid issues. Light poles equipped with CityTouch connector nodes and additional equipment acquire key power quality parameters continuously and at an unprecedented scale, supporting the Bureau of Street Lighting to assess the quality of the power supply to its lighting network. Exposing this data to other city departments and utilities enable grid managers to be quickly informed of outages. In this way, faults are restored faster, benefiting both residents and local businesses. In addition, tracking power quality over a luminaire’s lifetime alerts street lighting managers about upcoming maintenance needs, making planning more efficient and lowering operational costs.

    The lighting power grid and noise monitoring pilots in Los Angeles are two examples of how cities can leverage open systems and the connected street lighting infrastructure to acquire more data about operations, both of the lighting grid and beyond. Since the data is available via the cloud, the city can visualize insights rapidly and facilitate additional dialog with internal and external domain experts. With an open systems approach, cities like Los Angeles can add sensors and other smart devices to the public lighting infrastructure, creating a rich conduit for data that can support high-level decision making, city leadership, and quality of life for the people who live there.

  • Recommendations for Transfer

    As many cities start to focus on environmental factors such as energy savings, reducing climate-warming emissions etc., and as Philips is a reputable company that is willing to provide different PPP and/ or business model to cater to the needs of the specific municipalities, learning from this specific case and the benefits would be transferable to other cities.

  • Figures and Images

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