An intelligent street lighting system could lead to energy savings of up to 85 per cent.
The system, developed by Luix, is reported to be able to manage the brightness of street lights based on the presence of people and vehicles in the area.
Ander de Bustos, technical director at Iluminación Inteligente Luix, told The Engineer: ‘The system increases the lighting level when someone is detected in the area and stays at a minimum level of lighting when there is no one on the streets.’
The motion sensors used are reportedly able to detect people and vehicles up to 150m away.
De Bustos claimed that the lighting system ensured a feeling of security, while using up to 85 per cent less energy than old street lights and 50 per cent less energy than the most efficient street lights currently used.
The Luix System operates between a standby mode that saves energy (30–40 per cent) and a detection mode, which is reported to provide the necessary amount of lighting (70–100 per cent) when someone is detected.
De Bustos explained that the system can work with existing street light networks, and would be very simple to install.
He said LED lighting, which is being introduced onto nearly all new lamp posts, is best suited to the system because dimming is instantaneous. The system is also reported to be able to work with other light bulbs but the energy savings are not as significant.
Detecting people and vehicles in certain areas presented a particular challenge to Luix. These included large outdoor spaces where weather varies significantly and also places where vegetation (trees and large bushes) and other objects can easily activate a detector. He added, however, that cats and dogs would not set off the sensors.
The system has so far been implemented in various urban areas of two Spanish provinces, namely Gipuzkoa and Navarre.
The results obtained suggest that the city of Donostia-San Sebastián (the capital of the Basque province of Gipuzkoa) could make an annual saving of close to €3m (£2.6m) if the system was implemented for its 25,000 lampposts. Moreover, the results at a Spanish state level could be more than €250m (£214m).
Luix believes its system could be used in a smart city as it could send important information on subjects such as traffic and weather to other parts of the city via an electric network.
This is the first time the technology has been demonstrated and brought to the marketplace, says De Bustos.