Smart Cities

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody,” writes Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, “only because, and only when, they are created for everybody.”

Smart cities leverage connectivity and control technology to provide city managers information, greater control and the ability to enhance services. The primary driver is cost reduction via energy savings and improve service efficiency. However, smart cities can also improve quality of life and life/safety while enabling city managers to better manage growth and change.

Like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), definitions of what a “smart city” actually is varies. Todd Smith, Head of Engineering and Solution Development, OSRAM, defines it as a fully realized system that has the below capabilities:

  • Networks one or more supply systems
  • Automates systems to detect and respond to environmental conditions
  • Collects data
  • Centralized programmability and control
  • A smart city integrates buildings, information technology and energy systems that may include lighting, automation, life/safety, telecommunications and facilities management. All of these systems run on Ethernet/IP to enable human/system/object interaction, response and reporting.

    “A smart city should reinforce the best of what a city can offer to the people who want to live there,” says Susanne Seitinger, PhD, Philips Lighting, Professional Systems. “That means, among other things, maintaining a high quality of life in urban environments as they become denser and busier.”

    Lighting as smart city backbone

    As in the built environment, public street and area lighting is ubiquitous in urban environments. The primary goal is to impact the visual appearance of spaces and make them accessible and safer at night. Lighting also affects a city’s identity and character. LED lighting has been demonstrated to generate up to 50-70 percent energy savings, which increases to 80 percent when paired with controls.

    The miniaturization of microprocessor technology has resulted in the ability to embed intelligence and sensors/cameras in lamps and luminaires. These devices can then be networked to receive programming and send data. For example, the streetlight could be programmed to dim or turn OFF on a scheduled basis during non-peak hours. Additional sensors could transmit a broad range of other data.

    Image courtesy of Philips.

    Image courtesy of Philips.

    “Due to their digital nature, these lighting controls are inherently compatible with LEDs,” Smith says. “Therefore, LEDs deployed with lighting controls have the potential to be the primary infrastructure through which smart city networks are delivered.”

    He adds that while the basic elements of a lighting control system vary by manufacturer, key elements include widely distributed sensing capabilities and a communications network. Typically, for outdoor lighting, that communication is wireless.

    The sensors can monitor almost anything that can be measured, such as lamp/luminaire status, occupancy/motion, relative humidity, gas temperature, daylight, gases, smoke, radiation and noises such as gunshots. For example, the system could detect a lighting outage, power outage, gas leak or car accident, immediately alerting city officials and improving emergency response times. Manufacturer software may offer a broad range of capabilities, though extended capabilities may require customized software. Additionally, the streetlight could also be used to host wireless signal boosters and networking hubs. Manufacturers are still pioneering capabilities based on customer needs at this early stage of the game.

    “The purpose of a smart city is to provide the ability to control and monitor infrastructure, all of which is achievable through intelligent, sensing and programmable LED luminaires installed with a lighting control system,” Smith says.

    Image courtesy of OSRAM.

    Image courtesy of OSRAM.

    Sample solutions

    Philips’ CityTouch is a street lighting management system that links all lighting assets to city infrastructure for software-based sensing and control. This solution has been installed in a number of cities, most notably Los Angeles, which converted 100,000 streetlights.

    The “connect” application provides close-to-real-time performance monitoring, remote management and energy measurement. Using this software, users can flexibly adapt light levels and schedule dimming. Energy measurement features include metering per individual light point and verification of energy billing.

    The “workflow” application provides data and operations management capabilities. Users gain access to all current and historical information. Features include failure logging and repair process, maintenance workflow planning and continuous status tracking and documentation.

    CityTouch is installed by plugging a connector node into a standard socket on top of an existing streetlight (LED or traditional from any manufacturer). Commissioning is automated. The lights communicate via a public mobile communications network. The data flows to a secure Cloud-based solution.

    OSRAM currently offers a variety of smart city solutions via its SYLVANIA Lighting Solutions (SLS) service arm, including the OSRAM ENCELIUM Light Management System. The OSRAM ENCELIUM system focuses on smart buildings while exterior lighting control systems are used to collect data from street lighting. This allows cities to network government service administration buildings as well as street lighting. It can be implemented with lighting from any manufacturer. Device communication may be wired or wireless—typically wireless for streetlights and often a mixture for interior lighting control, using the same protocol. Collected data may be hosted by SLS, in a Cloud-based system or on an end-user server.



    Intelligence and connectivity: a revolution

    As the LED revolution matures, it has launched a second revolution in intelligence and connectivity of lighting and sensors in smart buildings and cities. This technology offers the potential to transform cities into highly efficient, highly responsive organizations that provide a better quality of life.

    Morton Arboretum Wins 2015 IES Illumination Award of Merit

    The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective use of lighting controls in nonresidential applications.

    This month, we will explore the role that lighting controls play in creating an interactive and playful public outdoor space. Lighting control design by John Featherstone and Austin Shapley of Lightswitch.

    Walking along the path of an enchanted forest, visitors encounter several interactive triggers that are accessible to visitors of all ages.


    Simple, large, “glove-friendly” interfaces for playback of shifting color and intuitive push buttons activate localized, immediate lighting responses that explore hue, saturation and intensity of light.


    Addressable LED strings are draped from the trees to create illuminated weeping willows in the “Tinsel Colonnade.” They are driven from a media server that creates an endless number of video effects.


    Two simple interactive user control stations separately control the tree “islands” and the “sea” that surrounds the trees. This juxtaposition offers two distinct experiences and the opportunity for creative interplay and collaboration between guests. No monitor, no touch screen? just the guest, the trees, and the light.


    Audio triggers come from two methodologies: a linear, in the form of SMPTE time code providing time reference, and a musical frequency filtered portions of audio track rigger ring everything from movement of lights to intensity and color.


    Guests experience a new, interactive, engaging and very “hands-on” exploration of light and color, featuring audio, visual and shared experience touch interactivity.


    This “all new” experience features the local Symphony Orchestra, and is the perfect way to fully integrate music into Illumination. The “roots” of the trees are pixel-mapped LED.


    Encouraging the guests to “HugATree,” trees are fitted with LED lighting and custom-designed pressure sensors that relay pressure data to a cue server, so the longer you hug, the more of a payoff you get. A button mounted to a tree stump allows wheelchair or stroller-bound guests to interact too.


    A flotilla of lit spheres float in the water (on the ice), gently rippling with changing color.


    Suspended chandeliers create a resting space from the interactivity, bathing the guest in a warm glow.


    Defining Accuracy: Energy Use Reporting through Lighting Control Systems

    cltcOne of the features of networked lighting controls is the ability to monitor lighting energy use over time and adjust the system to achieve the best possible performance. Recent work by the California Lighting Technology Center with Sempra Utilities showcases the development of a test methodology to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of onboard metering and system reporting features of advanced lighting control systems (ALCS).

    The Phase I report for this project was prepared for SDG&E and may be found online.

    Learn more about this project.

    NEMA Publishes NEMA LSD 23-2016 Recommended Practice—Lamp Seasoning for Fluorescent Dimming Systems

    The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) has published NEMA LSD 23-2016 Recommended Practice—Lamp Seasoning for Fluorescent Dimming Systems. This paper provides a recommended practice to season lamps for fluorescent dimming systems.

    This paper is an update to NEMA LSD 23-2010, developed by the NEMA Lighting Systems Division.

    NEMA LSD 23-2016 may be downloaded at no cost on the NEMA website.

    Demystify Energy Codes with Lutron’s Commercial Application Guides

    Lutron Electronics recently published free, online Commercial Application Guides that simplify the process for electrical contractors and engineers to stay up to date with rapidly changing U.S. energy codes. Designed to provide customers with examples of how Lutron controls can be used to meet or exceed ASHRAE 90.1-2010, IECC 2012 and Title 24-2013 code requirements, the Lutron Commercial Application Guides lay out different spaces and explain the setup of each space and corresponding products in a simple and user-friendly way.

    Click here to access it:

    Current and Future Electroindustry Business Indexes Ease Back but Continue to Suggest Conditions Conducive to Expansion

    NEMA’s Electroindustry Business Conditions Index (EBCI) remained above 50 again in July, signaling that conditions continue to be conducive for expansion in this sector. However, the current conditions index retreated back toward the threshold point from 59.4 in June to 53.6 this month.

    A majority of July’s respondents, 64 percent, reported conditions unchanged from a month ago, which is up substantially from the 44 percent who thought so in June. Unsurprisingly, the share of those reporting better conditions dropped from 38 percent in June to 21 percent this month, while the proportion of respondents who noted worse conditions declined as well, but only by 5 points from 19 percent last month to 14 in July.

    The survey’s measure of the intensity of change in electroindustry business conditions edged up from June, with the mean rating going from +0.2 previously to +0.4 this month. Panelists are asked to report intensity of change on a scale ranging from –5 (deteriorated significantly) through 0 (unchanged) to +5 (improved significantly).

    The future conditions index also remained above 50, even though it softened slightly as well, easing back to 57.1 in July from 59.4 in June. A plurality of respondents see conditions unchanged in six months, with 43 percent reporting no change this month versus 31 percent in June. As with the current conditions index, a smaller share of respondents – 36 percent in July compared to 44 percent last month – expect better conditions, while those expecting worse conditions slid from 25 percent in June’s survey to 21 percent this time.


    Cree SmartCast PoE Improves Quest 24/7 Operation Workspace

    Internet of Things technology and smart buildings continue to appeal to the commercial market. What makes the IoT worthwhile is when we connect networks and sensors to computing systems that converts data into information that enables action without intervention – creating new value and making the systems actually intelligent.

    Technology management leader Quest installed IoT technology in its new High Availability Business Center (HABC) in Roseville, California. Cree’s SmartCast PoE Technology, part of the Cisco Digital Ceiling, was installed in the 120,000 square-foot, 24/7 operation.  The installation includes 100 Cree CR Series 2’x2’ LED luminaires equipped with SmartCast PoE, offering simplified flexibility with occupancy sensing and color tuning for greater energy efficiency and customized lighting environments.

    Click here to read this case study.

    Cree SmartCast PoE dramatically improves Quest 247 operation workspace-1

    Leviton to Host Webinar on August 18

    levitonLeviton is hosting a webinar series on August 18 from 11AM to 3PM EST.

    Topics and times (EST):

    *11:00 – 11:45 DEALING WITH END OF LIFE CONDITIONS WITH GFCI DEVICES. Learn why receptacles with GFCI technology provide more complete “End of Life” protection in comparison to circuit breakers with GFCI technology.
    *11:50 – 12:20 WHAT THE HECK IS IP69K? In industries where hygiene and cleanliness is paramount, equipment must be able to withstand high pressure and high temperature washdown procedures. Learn how Leviton products with an IP69K rating undergo rigorous testing to ensure watertight connections.
    *12:25 – 1:10 LUMINA RF FOR ENTERPRISE. Lumina Gateway and the Lumina RF eco-system are being significantly updated to add new features, reduce installation burdens, and increase sales opportunities. It is a small commercial energy management automation system, providing simplified web-based scheduling and remote access. Leviton will provide an overview of the forthcoming updated apps and Cloud dashboard, plus walk through the new setup utility, and provide key applications and control scenarios.
    *1:15 – 2:00: SIMPLIFY ADVANCED LIGHTING CONTROLS WITH PROVOLT. Discover how to deliver energy savings, increase space functionality, boost productivity and improve the comfort for occupants with the revolutionary Provolt™ Room Controller (PRC) and App. Configured, controlled and managed via a smart phone or tablet. Learn how this easy-to-retrofit and streamlined solution makes advanced lighting controls & code compliance simple and less cost-prohibitive.
    *2:05 – 2:45 CONNECTED HOME STRUCTURED CABLING INSTALLATION BEST PRACTICES. Attend this Webinar segment and gain a few tips and tricks for installing a residential structured cabling system, both in new construction and in retrofit projects. Also the importance of integrating both hard-wired solutions and wireless to optimize applications and user experience.

    Click here to register.

    2016 DOE Connected Lighting Systems Workshop Presentations Posted

    The U.S. Department of Energy’s Connected Lighting Systems Workshop was held June 8–9, 2016, in Santa Clara, CA. More than 170 attendees joined DOE and top lighting and IoT experts to examine key barriers and issues impacting development of connected lighting systems.

    The workshop expanded on key discussions held at the inaugural Connected Lighting Systems Meeting held in November 2015. Panel topics included configuration complexity, test beds, energy reporting, interoperability, and leading-edge indoor and outdoor installations.

    The 2016 workshop presentations and materials have been posted on the DOE SSL website.

    Leviton Provides Lifetime TV Show “Office Spaces” with Automated, Intelligent and Sustainable Office

    Leviton recently announced that a wide range of its products are featured on “Office Spaces,” a television series airing on Lifetime Television. Hundreds of Leviton products combine to create a comprehensive, sustainable and intelligent atmosphere in and around an 11,000-sq.ft. office environment. Among the solutions provided by Leviton are electric vehicle charging stations, audiovisual automation equipment, security and access control products and USB, GFCI and AFCI receptacles, as well as connectivity devices including infrastructure wiring, and data connections. The entire property is protected with Leviton transient voltage surge suppression power strips, receptacles and panels.

    Leviton networking, automation and electrical wiring device products were specifically featured in episode 8, which aired Monday, April 4. The episode focused on building-wide smart technology and highlight customized audiovisual automation within conference, meeting and lobby areas. Additionally, episode 10, which aired Monday, May 30th, featured the Leviton Evr-Green® 320 Electric Vehicle Charging Station for fast-charging of electric vehicles.

    Specific product lines featured in the television show include:

    The episodes may be viewed at