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Wireless Networking

LA's Smart LED Street Lights Boost Wireless Connectivity (philips.com) 75

An anonymous reader writes: Los Angeles will introduce a smart street lighting system, featuring connected LEDs and fully-integrated 4G LTE wireless technology. In a collaboration between Dutch tech firm Philips and Swedish telco Ericsson, the SmartPole project aims to deliver LA citizens public lighting which is energy efficient and improves network performance in urban areas. By the close of this week, a total of 24 SmartPoles will be installed across the Hollywood area. The city plans to place 100 poles over the coming year, with a further 500 to follow.
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LA's Smart LED Street Lights Boost Wireless Connectivity

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Next thing you know, they'll be putting antennas on a pole.

  • Hmmm ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday November 06, 2015 @01:36PM (#50878207) Homepage

    So the cynic in me says "we'll be able to see you better, and monitor your cellphone activity better".

    According to Ericsson senior vice president and head of business unit Radio, Arun Bansal, LA is becoming a role model for other smart cities developing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

    Oh, I see .. LA has been hoodwinked into funding someone's marketing drive, and LA will be the reference case for how they leveraged their synergies with emerging IoT technologies to deliver the blah blah blahs in an agile manner.

    Give it a few years, it won't work, it will have cost too much, and will be found to have massive security holes which can't be fixed without spending huge sums of money.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      you forgot to include "leveraging cloud technologies" and "disruptive engineering"

      • Meh, I was feeling lazy and didn't want to waste my time .. hence the "blah blah blah".

        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          i am quite familiar with the deliverables of blah blah blah, and they are clearly in addition to disruptive markets.

    • by lazarus ( 2879 )

      Give it a few years, it won't work, it will have cost too much, and will be found to have massive security holes which can't be fixed without spending huge sums of money.

      Well, you're probably pretty close. This [metronews.ca] is what happened in Toronto.

  • Instead of installing internet-connected streetlights (that nobody asked for), can you please FIX THE FUCKING POTHOLES???
    • Why? You can't claim to be, er, "paving the way forward" when all you're doing is paving the way forward.

      That doesn't cast you as an innovator building the city of tomorrow.

      Where's the excitement and photo ops there?

    • can you please FIX THE FUCKING POTHOLES???

      This is in Los Angeles. There is no freeze-thaw cycle there, and as a result, few potholes. I live in San Jose, 350 miles north of LA, and even here there are very few potholes.

      • can you please FIX THE FUCKING POTHOLES???

        This is in Los Angeles. There is no freeze-thaw cycle there, and as a result, few potholes. I live in San Jose, 350 miles north of LA, and even here there are very few potholes.

        Not sure if serious [mercurynews.com]

      • This is in Los Angeles. There is no freeze-thaw cycle there, and as a result, few potholes.

        I invite you to come down to Los Angeles and drive our beautiful streets, especially the day after any measurable rain. And don't even get me started on the sidewalks, which the ents have been heaving out of the ground for decades.

        • I invite you to leave LA and visit someplace with shitty weather and truly shitty roads. I suggest Detroit.

          You will never whine about LA roads again.

          • I invite you to leave LA and visit someplace with shitty weather and truly shitty roads. I suggest Detroit.

            You will never whine about LA roads again.

            I never said we had the worst roads, just that the roads should be fixed before we start installing WiFi on them. LA does have it's share of truly shitty weather though, but the opposite of Detroit. It's always fun when it's 110+ degrees, the wind is blowing the trees sideways while they're also on fire. You've never wanted to see snow more than when the Santa Ana's are blowing through!

    • Perhaps they can do both!

      Embed "smart" dingleberries into the road when they fill the pot holes... that way they the roads can be smart too...

  • A strange claim given historically street lights have been shown not to have an impact on crime.
    • A strange claim given historically street lights have been shown not to have an impact on crime.

      There is little evidence that lighting makes streets safer, or prevents traffic accidents, but there is overwhelming evidence that it makes people feel safer. Politicians receive a storm of complaints when streetlights go out.

    • Agree, but the unsafe condition is some lights working and some not; your eyes can't adapt quickly enough.

  • Nice for L.A.

    Also, the lights detect when a pedestrian or car is in the sensor and increases the light from a dimmed state to extra bright.

    After all this is L.A. and the drive-by-shooters can see their victims better with these lights and won't shoot as many bystanders.

    • Neither link mentions dimming the lights to save power. Honestly, doing so would be a bad idea. We have a street light across from our bedroom that I wish was dimmer, but one that pulses form dim to bright every time someone walks by would be more distracting than a steadily bright one.

      The "smart' seems to simply be that a small fiber connected base station is being integrated into a light pole. Big whoop. The other solution for improving cell service in urban areas I've seen proposed is a flat ~1x1 m w

      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        This morning I was reading an article about Amsterdam going to move 130,000 poles to LED.
        The same story explained that addition savings were going to be made because the lights would in the absence of traffic dim.
        I spend a lot of time in Denmark living on a private road, the local council has mandated we need to change any lights containing Mercury (fluorescents) to LED and they need the ability to dim.

        What these stories have in common is Philips.

        Running fiber along the power lines is probably a good
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So basically a dumb LED light set with high efficiency and reduced maintenance costs due to lasting time, unnecessarily fused with an energy expensive radio system with quick obsoleting "smart" components, to guarantee a revenue stream. Not that having the two attached to the same pole is a bad idea when you do need both, but if you cant swap the bulb and the wi-fi separately (or exclude the expensive wi-fi from 9/10 poles), and mix and match manufacturers then you just set your self up for future costs an

  • So, several years from now, when the "smart" prefix is played out or new technology makes "smart" look "dumb" what do we call these poles? Light posts?

  • What I find really sad is that sodium lighting invented almost a century ago is still more efficient per output photon than led lighting is currently. Also much easier on the eyes while night driving. I absolutely hate blueish led lights slowly taking over the town. Just because something is "new" does not make it better.

    • The claim is that while sodium is more efficient per lumen, LEDs put out a directional light and so total lumens used is lower. This is also supposed to make the skies darker. LEDs are also supposed to have a longer life, reducing maintenance costs.

      • The claim is that while sodium is more efficient per lumen, LEDs put out a directional light and so total lumens used is lower.

        Apparently reflectors only work with led lighting.

        This is also supposed to make the skies darker.

        It precludes the ability to use narrow band filters making things worse for the people who care.

        LEDs are also supposed to have a longer life, reducing maintenance costs.

        We all know drivers will fail way before the lights themselves do but you still have a point. The question is does the cost of changing light bulbs more often outweigh cost of led lighting on society? In disruption of sleep in humans and animals and blue light related eye damage?

        • Apparently reflectors only work with led lighting.

          I think because of the quality of light, they also get away with a lower number of lumens. I'm not entirely sure what the mechanism is, but I do know that they save money by reducing the power usage. LA is being aggressive with its role-out because of the power savings so far.

          The question is does the cost of changing light bulbs more often outweigh cost of led lighting on society?

          I don't know what the "cost to society is", but economically it probably depends on many local factors: whether you need union labor, how accessible the fixtures are, etc.

          In disruption of sleep in humans and animals and blue light related eye damage?

          I haven't seen any studies on any of these things. Animals would

    • by cnaumann ( 466328 ) on Friday November 06, 2015 @02:40PM (#50878805)

      High Pressure Sodium lamp produce somewhere between 50-140 lumens per watt depending on bulb size, bulb age, temperature, and the type of ballast used. LEDs have passed the 300 lumens per watt mark in the lab and real-word LEDs are currently running 70-120 lumens per watt and constantly improving. Unlike HPS lamps, LEDs are directional which can be lead to additional savings.

      It is still not clear what the real-world bulb life of LEDs will be so it is difficult to calculate the total cost of operations. Since electrical power is usually abundant at night, power is only a small factor in the cost of operating street light. It is unlikely that further improvements in LED efficiency will have any meaningful impact on operating cost.

      In spite of the relatively poor color rendering index of HPS lights, I also find the warm orange from HPS easier on my eyes for night driving. It is also possible (but not cheap!) to filter out most HPS light for sky viewing.

      I wish we could re-think the whole idea of street lighting and use if more sparingly. It is very helpful to have intersections marked with lights but there is no need to light every street, every hour of every night. Dark can be quite nice!

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Despite studies Philips has done in China and Lyon indicating that 3700K is much easier on peoples eyes, Seattle choose LEDs that are 5000K because, "it looks like moonlight*" Now nearly every street looks like a football field bathed in extremely harsh, bright, dystopian light.

        Some local stores have made the switch as well. Everywhere you go there is often extremely bright, blue tinted light.

        I'd be interested to know of places that are using LEDs but understand what appropriate color temperature at night i

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      Also much easier on the eyes while night driving.

      How soon they forget.

      I was working for the local utility when we made the switch from mercury vapor to sodium vapor lighting. The screams and howls about poor color rendition and visibility problems almost made us switch back.

      Sodium vapor lamps may be more efficient. But just ask the cops who were around at the time of the switchover. Every hit-and-run vehicle reported was a muddy brown color and every suspect was black.

      • That is low pressure sodium; it is monochromatic. High pressure sodium has reasonable color rendering.

        For efficiency and color rendering the LEDs can offer the best balance, but the biggest advantage to LED is the ability to dim them at low need times.

        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          High pressure sodium has a CRI [wikipedia.org] of 20 to 25. 'White' LEDs can be around 60 or better. Which is still crap, but usable.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Public lighting is inherently INefficient, because it's public. An ideal system would involve the lights switching only when a paid subscriber comes into range; those who are unwilling to pay have made a market decision, as rational consumers, to take the risk of being murdered, mugged, raped and murdered. Which I totally agree with. Robbing them at gunpoint to pay for their so-called safety is the purest hypocrisy.

    I'm an expert on POS systems and I have a prototype in place, but thanks to Obama and his

    • Okay,I genuinely can't figure out if you're serious or satirical ?
      Poe's Law in action.

  • I personally would prefer to see a streetlight that's smart enough to know when it's not needed. See: http://darksky.org/ [darksky.org].

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