For years, Washington maintenance services relied on the citizens calling the municipality to identify streetlight malfunctions. The urban lighting was based on the older, high energy consuming sodium lamps and lamp-level ON/OFF or dimming control seemed a distant dream.
The Washington’s DC vision for a smarter, safer and more energy efficient city has brought intelligent urban lighting to the attention of the City Council. Seen as one of the largest urban streetlight modernization projects in the US, the DC Smart Street Lighting Project decided to convert all the city’s street and alley lights to energy-efficient LED technology with remote monitoring and control capabilities.
The project, implemented by the long-term public private partnership between District of Columbia and the Plenary Infrastructure DC (PIDC) consortium, has a significant environmental and economic output, aiming to reduce the energy consumption by more than 50%, optimizing maintenance operations and enabling safer, more connected communities.
Part of the PIDC consortium, ENGIE is the design and construction contractor and EQUANS participates as lighting service provider for the next 15 years, with Flashnet as a smart lighting solution provider: hardware, communications and software.
The new LED streetlights in Washington will use inteliLIGHT® smart street lighting NEMA controllers to provide individual lamp control and monitoring capabilities, city-wide grid awareness and real-time malfunction alerts. To have access to all the benefits of individual lamp control, the project will use inteliLIGHT’s Streetlight Control Software to manage the street lighting, but Washington came with another challenge: the existing maintenance and workforce management software needs to integrate with the new lighting management software.
Another essential part of the project, communication security is of paramount importance for the US capital. The implementation team decided to use pre-existing carrier-grade NB-IoT / LTE-M connectivity, with multi-operator cellular fallback to ensure redundancy and 15 years pre-paid connectivity, to avoid adding up to the operational fees. Furthermore, inteliLIGHT comes with integrated controller-level intelligence, ensuring the lighting system operation even in the unlikely scenario of complete communication interruption.
Regarding the municipal Wi-Fi coverage, with inteliLIGHT individual lamp control, the lighting grid is powered on even during the day, which extends the lighting pole functionality. It can serve as a physical support to install Wi-Fi routers, and the routers can be also powered directly from the lighting grid. It requires practically no civil works, a fast and non-expensive way to extend any smart city applications throughout the city.
Finally, to prove inteliLIGHT’s reliability, built-in flexibility and open philosophy, after the initial technical proposal was accepted, the Flashnet engineers conducted a real-life testing in Washington, together with all the solution integrators, software and hardware providers.
“This project is an important achievement for us. The benefits of the inteliLIGHT connected street lighting extend beyond illumination, and we are proud to demonstrate our capabilities in Washington, DC. This is an important breakthrough for Flashnet in North America, laying the ground for citywide connected infrastructure and improving the lives of generations to come.” concluded Lorand Mozes, CEO Flashnet.