Application and Connectivity Best Practices

City planners and leaders are embracing smart, connected lighting upgrades—and are confronting an array of connectivity choices that may (or may not) enable the city to achieve its goals. These choices range from low cost ultra-narrowband options to higher cost, high capacity broadband.

Navigant Research analyzed a dozen connectivity technologies and their suitability as a smart street lighting/city platform. Characteristics of each technology, including cost, reliability, security, data latency, power requirements, bandwidth, and technological maturity, were weighed against the requirements for 10 smart city applications.

Key takeaways include:

Medium band networking solutions occupy the technology sweet spot, balancing cost and support for the largest number of high value smart city applications.

• Installation of networking and controls simultaneously with LED deployments will reduce overall costs, increase the efficiency and functionality of street lighting and provide a platform for future smart city applications.

The right smart street lighting platform can help cities deal with issues such as crime and antisocial behavior, pedestrian and driver safety, and city revitalization projects.

Cities need to outline long-term goals and priorities before selecting a smart street lighting network. They should also recognize that the right solution may combine more than one technology for different applications; for example, medium band for most applications and dedicated fiber or point-to-multipoint for security cameras.