Philips Lighting just announced that they were selected to conduct a massive overhaul of over 5,000 streetlights in Poland’s historic “floating garden” city of Szczecin. The city plans to replace over half its streetlights with LEDs, which will be connected through a remote management system to control brightness and provide automatic alerts as to when bulbs must be replaced. All told, the LEDs will provide energy savings of 70 percent, and reduce the city’s costs by EUR 360,000 (just shy of $400k) each year.
Szczecin is home to around half a million people, and over half the city’s surface is covered with greenery and water, while priding itself as home to some fine Art Nouveau architecture. Through their partnership with Philips, city mayor Piotr Krzystek hopes to “enhance the cityscape, increase safety and visibility for citizens and visitors, while at the same time enabling enormous energy and cost savings.”
By September 2015, over half of Szczecin’s modernized lamps will be replaced with energy efficient LED bulbs, and will be connected through the Philips CityTouch system. In a press release, Philips describes this interconnected infrastructure as allowing “for the communication and control of the individual light points to create a smart network that gives municipal authorities the ability to control and manage the lighting in major city center roads with the highest traffic.”
In other words, the city can have finer control over making sure that there is the right amount of light in the right place at the right time; individual lamps can be switched on and off, or dimmed, when and where needed according to a daily or seasonal calendar or to pre-selected settings for citywide events. That capacity for fine control—along with the efficiency of the LEDs—will reduce carbon emissions by 7,000 tons each year.
Szczecin is the latest in a number of cities to retrofit streetlights with LEDs, Los Angeles and Barcelona have each undertaken massive updates of their infrastructure. Philips CityTouch system has already been put to the test in Buenos Aires, where over 28,000 LED luminaries already light the city and are controlled remotely through a browser.