Los Angeles saving $9M per year with smart city technology

The use of smart streetlights in LA is saving the city millions of dollars while providing a backbone for its smart city initiative, which is improving traffic infrastructure, mobile broadband, electric vehicles and public safety.

LA is replacing all of its sodium-vapor streetlights with smart LED versions that use less energy and hence, save money. The money saved will be invested in electric vehicle charging stations attached to streetlight poles.

The city has already replaced almost 80 per cent of its 215,000 streetlights with LED smart lights. As a result, the city has saved almost $9 million, according to Ed Ebrahimian, director of the Bureau of Street Lighting for the City of Los Angeles.

“In addition to that, we’ve reduced the load on our circuits,” he said in a comment to ZDNet.

“We’ve changed the fixtures and installed lower wattage fixtures [and] all of a sudden the load on our entire circuit is less. It gives us the ability to use the power for other purposes and we have started a new program of installing electric vehicle charging stations attached to street lighting poles.”

Existing streetlight poles are also being replaced with smartpoles which include 4G LTE wireless technology. This is expected to improve phone coverage throughout the city.

Other upcoming changes include installing more solar panels on smart lights, as well as implementing traffic sensors and parking sensors to monitor the flow of traffic and alert citizens to available parking spots.