One of the latest urban innovations that has really sparked a lot of interest in the United States is the idea of Smart Street Lights. The lights are connected to a grid that collects valuable information about their usage, and they can also have cameras on them in order to increase surveillance if needed. These lights help to reduce energy and can help make the people feel safer when it comes to traffic or traveling on foot. These lights would also be connected to cellular devices so an individual would be able to map out their journey prompting which street lights to come on and when. When the lights are not needed, they will be dimmed which saves energy and decreases the amount of CO2 emissions.
A company by the name of inteliLIGHT has made many claims as to how their products can improve the overall sustainability of cities. Once the lights have been put into place they claim that they will have connections to everything on the electricity grid in that city. This means that these light poles will be able to charge cars, control water-sprinkling systems, and operate gates. If these lights succeed the amount of energy that could be saved would be tremendous! They also claim that energy costs would immediately be reduced by thirty-five percent. By adding these smart light poles into cities there is also room for economic growth in the sense that they offer such a variety of features. They could have digital advertisements within them for businesses and could also be used for electric car charging ports, as I mentioned previously. Also, because these lights are to be controlled from a grid if there is a maintenance issue with one it will be noticed right away just from looking at the grid, and it will be fixed immediately, most likely before residents even notice.
These poles have also been used as cell phone towers, ensuring that wherever you are within a city you will have cell service. Los Angeles was the first city to do implement these SmartPoles. The ones that they built were also LED lights, which aids in sustainability. The team in charge of the SmartPoles project is a team of Phillips and technology by Ericsson, and they said that, “This project shows what smart infrastructure can do for Los Angeles: create jobs, save tax payer dollars, and improve our environment.” Overall, smart street poles have only positive effects on neighborhoods.