There are around 60 million streetlights in Europe. Most of them have been lighting up the roads for at least 25 years. These lights, which account for 20% to 50% of local government energy bills, are often not energy-efficient.
The Humble Lamppost, a subgroup of the Integrated Infrastructures & Processes Action Cluster within the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities & Communities (EIP-SCC), is working to upgrade 10 million of these streetlights with low-energy LED bulbs. This action could decrease energy costs by 50% to 75% and would reduce emissions.
These new lampposts will have smart characteristics. Thus, at the same time as they light up the streets, they will monitor air quality, help improve security, improve parking and traffic management, support electronic signage, and provide mesh Wi-Fi.
Graham Colclough, leader of the project and chair of the Integrated Infrastructures & Processes Action Cluster, explained that the initiative will be based on an open component-based design that will improve services and reduce costs.
Manufacturers would produce different parts that could be combined to make streetlights smarter in order to avoid replacing millions of lampposts in Europe.