Echelon deploys tunable street lighting in US city

Publish Date:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 2:48 pm PST

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Smart Cities World

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Sensors along with the lights can be programmed to automatically respond to higher foot traffic or certain weather conditions

City managers can adjust lights from soothing warm yellow to bright blue-white
City managers can adjust lights from soothing warm yellow to bright blue-white

Echelon Corporation is trialling the first deployment of so-called “white tunable” connected street lighting in partnership with the city of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and design firm Short Elliott Hendrickson.

According to Echelon, its Lumewave solution can “dynamically” regulate the amount of potentially unhealthy blue light emitted from outdoor lighting without compromising safety and visibility.


City managers can adjust streetlight colour from soothing warm yellow to bright blue-white based on activity levels, time of day, weather and events. Dimming levels can also be remotely adjusted, making the system suitable to aid visibility for the likes of first responders and security professionals.


“Being the first to try this new technology and see it in action was very rewarding,” said Mark Burch, public works director/city engineer, White Bear Lake. “We could raise the brightness and select a more vivid hue during an evening event. With a scheduled scenario, we could shift the lights in that same area to a warmer hue at 2:00am when there are rarely park visitors, other than our nocturnal wildlife.


“We could also programme sensors along with the lights to automatically respond to higher foot traffic or certain weather conditions for optimal visibility,” continued Burch. “The new technology could give us the power to elevate the level of public safety and quality of life across our entire community.”


In a demonstration, the municipal leaders of White Bear Lake were able to adjust both the light level and the white color range in its city park lighting. By being able to tune from warm white (2700 Kelvin) all the way to cool white (5500 Kelvin), city managers can modify outdoor lighting to enhance quality of life.


A warm white of 2700K was preferred for times with low activity, while higher color temperature of 4500K was deemed to provide better visibility for times with higher activity and during public events.


“Municipalities now have the power to create the perfect environment at any given time,” added Ron Sege, chairman and chief executive officer, Echelon Corporation. “Imagine the improved public safety if all of the streetlights in an area were immediately whiter and brighter when a 911 call was responded to, but otherwise dimmer and more yellow at night for restful sleep.


“Cities need not compromise safety for comfort or vice versa. Our technology is paving the way for smart cities to improve quality of life, while still achieving energy efficiency and sustainability goals,” he concluded.


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