Doncaster installs smart city wireless control system for LED streetlights

A major new deployment of smart streetlighting is underway in Yorkshire. Telensa, a company that makes wireless smart city control applications, said last week that it is providing 33,000 LED streetlights with wireless control that will be installed across the metropolitan borough of Doncaster, which covers 200 square miles.

Doncaster Council’s Smartlight project is expected to save the local authority £1.3 million every year, reducing energy consumption by 8.7 million kilowatt hours and carbon emissions by 4,700 carbon tonnes.

The new streetlights are wirelessly connected and managed using Telensa’s PLANet system. This consists of telecells plugged into each streetlight, which connect wirelessly to a cloud-based control application via a small number of streetlight-mounted base stations.

The central system ensures that streetlights are set to the optimal level for each area and time of night, so that all areas are safe and well lit. It also records the power consumption of each streetlight, ensuring the council only pays for the energy consumed.

What’s more, by connecting lights through a low-cost wireless network, further Internet of Things (IoT) applications could be added in the future. Examples include using the connected streetlights as a communications hub for traffic or air quality measurement sensors, to connect new control applications such as smart parking, or integrating lighting-based analytics with other smart city systems.

Welcoming the project, Will Gibson, chief executive of Telensa, said: Connecting LED streetlights with smart city control is compelling because it pays for itself with extra savings in energy usage and avoiding needless maintenance visits, whilst giving the flexibility to centrally evolve lighting programs over time, future-proofing the LED investment.

The Smartlight Project is a fantastic scheme which will result in better quality lighting, a reduced carbon footprint and crucial financial savings for the council, added Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster. In a difficult economic climate where other authorities are turning off street lights at night or removing some lighting, ours is a resourceful approach that will maintain lighting while providing savings.

According to Telensa, the project is expected to reduce the council’s lighting energy bill by half while also providing improved quality of light.

Doncaster Council is investing £8.2 million in the project, but thanks to energy efficiency savings the investment is expected to pay for itself within six years.

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