Philips has announced that it plans to make 110,000 LED street lights in Los Angeles connected. The company will bring the lights online using new plug-and-play CityTouch technology. It is said to be quick and easy to install, and will allow the city's lights to be monitored and controlled via the web.
Philips is no stranger to major city lighting projects. It is currently upgrading Madrid's lighting in what it says is the largest project of its kind. CityTouch, too, is already in use in 262 projects across 31 countries around the world, including Buenos Aires.
LA, however, will be the first place in which CityTouch connects directly to each individual street light using the CityTouch connector node. The node employs a mobile chip embedded into each light to turn existing LED fixtures into ones that are connected. It also allows the system to connect to street lights made by any manufacturer.
The plug-and-play nature of the technology reduces the time and cost of programming and commissioning each fixture. Philips says the device can also reduce maintenance costs by around 20 percent, by automatically reporting faults.
CityTouch itself allows users to monitor and control a city's lighting on an individual or group basis by simply logging into a secure portal via a web browser. The system uses map-based visualizations, charts and diagrams to show how much energy is being used by certain lights or groups of lights, and what their remaining lifespans are.
It's also possible to control things like the brightness and timing of lights. For example, lights on street corners can be made brighter than others or entire areas can be brightened for special events.
The new system was selected over a number of other piloted solutions. It will be phased into use in LA over the next year, starting this month.