Greater Geelong’s big smart lighting switch

A new 'integrated smart lighting' system will be rolled out by Victoria's City of Greater Geelong, making it one of the first in Australia to do so.

Image: City of Sydney

Victoria’s City of Greater Geelong has rolled out a new ‘integrated smart lighting system’ in its Ocean Grove area that connects LED public lighting to Wi-Fi and smart phone applications.

What was once a niche alternative for lighting streets and other public spaces, councils are slowly making the big switch from traditional lamps to LED as governments have become attracted to its energy efficient properties.

The technology has come a long way since the initial trial rollouts of LED street lighting and their popularisation in the early 2010s. Now governments are implementing more sophisticated features under the title of ‘smart lighting’ that will enable people to access free Wi-Fi that’s connected to the lights.

According to the city, new light installations will address safety concerns of local traders by improving the lighting of public areas; will reduce the City’s (lighting) energy costs by up to 70 per cent; reduce carbon emissions and require less maintenance than regular street lights.

City of Greater Geelong general manager city services William Tieppo said the city decided to lead the way in local government by being one of the first municipalities to install integrated smart street lighting in Australia.

“Saving power and lowering CO2 by installing LED lights is a logical step, and by optimising this and including smart city networks at the same time, lowers costs which will be of great benefit,” Mr Tieppo said.

He said the city’s smart lighting system “has everyone talking” and they’ve received inquiries and interest from New Zealand, Asia and Europe.

“We aim to roll out smart lighting across the municipality as part of a combined G21 Councils’ partnership initiative to future proof lighting infrastructure throughout the region,” he said.

He said this will allow the City of Greater Geelong to provide improved traffic and parking conditions, safer pedestrian environments, improved services for tourists, improved commercial output and lower energy and maintenance costs as well as integrating any other future smart city developments that can be adapted quickly and cost efficiently into the new networks.

Ocean Grove Traders Association President Ty Simons said local traders are very excited about the new smart lighting system that has been installed in The Terrace.

“We are all looking forward to becoming the town of the future and paving the way for other towns across the region,” Mr Simons said.

“The benefits that this system will bring to local business, the community and tourism is only limited by our imagination.”

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