The world today has over four billion street lights that use either sodium or mercury vapor or some other noxious substance to produce light. They all require power and usually last for about two years before burning out.
The demand for smart, networked materials that can provide valuable information on any given location is constantly growing. Is there a way to enable all these street lights to converge on a sensor network across the globe? Sensity Systems is quickly becoming known as the leader in lighting innovation as they have created the technology to make this a reality.
The aim is to create a global network of smart lights with Light Sensory Network (LSN), a new class of digital sensor network which takes advantage of Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting conversions to help enhance energy efficiency while transforming their luminaires into strategic assets. Ambient light, seismic activity, moisture, radiation, temperature, wind, media access control addresses to track cell phones and a whole lot of relevant information about your surrounding area can be collected by each luminaire that functions as a node.
The first step is to build apps that gather the data. Sensity has already begun working with several partners and third-party developers to create SensApps applications and services. According to the CEO Hugh Martin, there are three levels of applications that can be built. The first app is built to control your lights. In other words, it helps to turn the lights on or off, monitor the amount of power being used, motion-based dimming to save energy and efficiently manage maintenance. These apps come with the smart lights and are free.
The second app is designed to benefit or provide value to the light owner. Audio sensors with perfect accuracy, address tracking that senses local cell phones which enable stadiums, parking lots and events to know when people are coming, sensors with video to help people with safety, surveillance and track parking spots all come within this category. A small fee is charged to the application providers for this app as they need to use Sensity’s application programming interface and other tools.
The final app is built to provide information on earthquake detection, sunlight, wind, temperature, global warming and other planetary data. Application providers can access this data by paying a fee and this data can in turn be provided to the public at large and not just the light owners. One would certainly agree that it is a smart way to profit from.
Cities and towns all over the world are looking for ways to lower their energy costs and provide services more efficiently. Sensity has come up with LEDs which are similar to street lights in terms of light output. They can turn on and off instantly, use only thirty percent of the energy, have a much better color range, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and unlike ordinary street lights, they burn out once every ten to fifteen years. Office buildings consume tremendous amounts of energy, so conversion to LED lighting makes tremendous sense for properties too.
The payback period for investing in these smart lights is just two years. Many cities across the US have already announced their intentions to switch with New York taking the lead. This transformation is indeed a win-win situation as lighting manufacturers see investments in global outdoor lighting amount to billions of dollars. Sensity is definitely making the dollar work.
People are aware of being exposed as we now live in a world driven by technology. A network of smart lights capable of recording audio and video may not be received well by the masses. Sensity has considered this aspect and formulated a set of procedures that will ensure that the citizens’ privacy is not breached.
To conclude, Sensity has come up with an innovative solution and a planet-sized vision with a network that will prove to be immensely profitable in the long run.