While high prices have prevented municipal authorities from investing in “clever” street lights, that’s starting to change.
ABI Research said that the number of installed lights with networking abilities will grow from two million now to over 40 million by 2019, said analyst Andrew Zignani.
LED lights give energy savings, an increase in lifespan and the ability to be networked, he said. Such networking will not only allow for better control of illumination but lamps will be able to report to a central location when there are defects.
Although networking is now mostly using power line communication (PLC), that dominant position will face competition from radio frequency (RF) and cellular networking.
ABI estimates that by 2020, RF systems will account for two thirds of street lights installed.
Some cities around the world are seeing potential for street lighting infrastructure based on the internet of things, said Zignani. Street lights will be linked to other aspects of smart grids.