FPL's smart street lighting program becoming one of the world's largest

Fri, 2015-03-06 06:00 -- SCC Staff

Barely one year into its efforts to replace old street lights with networked LEDs, Florida Power & Light has announced plans to greatly expand the program. The expansion turns what was already one of the largest smart street lighting projects in the U.S. into one of the largest in the world.

After the expanded effort is complete, the utility will have nearly a half-million street lights that are networked and using energy-efficient LEDs. It was about this time last year that the utility announced its initial plan to convert 75,000 street lights.

Council Associate Partner Silver Spring Networks is powering the network behind Florida’s new smart street lights, which will stretch across the utility’s 35 county, statewide territory.

Saving cities money in two ways
Smart street light projects like this can save cities money in two ways. The first is raw energy conservation. The LEDs simply need less energy to provide the same amount of light. Silver Spring Networks is also behind another smart street light project in Paris that’s forecast to cut energy use by about 30%.

Networking the street lights generates even more in savings. By being able to monitor and control each street light remotely, the utility can reduce its maintenance and operations costs. Silver Spring Networks says street light projects that are networked pay typically pay for themselves two years faster than those that are not.

Flexible lighting
Florida Power & Light says the project is also about adaptive lighting. The utility can brighten the lights when it needs to for safety purposes and dim them at other times. Even emergency responders can have the ability to adjust the light levels.

This flexible lighting further improves energy efficiency in addition to reducing light pollution.

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