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Ways to Optimize India's Street Lighting
Street Lighting is a major concern in India. India being a vast and diverse nation requires sufficient street lighting to ensure safety and security of the citizens and democratic usage of public spaces. However, these street lights not just consume asignificant amount of national energy, but their maintenance is also a key concern.
Optimization of Indian street lights is a pressing need for the governments and citizens alike. Properly lit streets would not just ensure quality living but also are in sync with the government’s smart city mission.The use of right commercial lighting products, integration of technology and the correct refurbishment are a few ways to address the problem.
KEY PROBLEMS OF STREET LIGHTING IN INDIA
India’s current system of conventional street lighting lacks both effectiveness and efficiency, that needs to be addressed. To add to this, there are several other problems plaguing Indian street lighting.
Installation of luminaires on the streets is not enough to ensure a seamless street lighting experience. Detection and repairing of faulty lights is equally important. One of the keyproblems is theabsence of the baseline data to understand the number of street lights that are faulty. Also, the conventional system is inefficient, both in terms ofenergy consumed and the output of lights. The need to identify and analyze malfunctioning lights is critical for the authorities to ensure that the replacements are worthy.
In the FY 2016-17, India had an energy surplus of +1.1% and was merely breaking even with the demand and supply. It is necessary for India to properly utilize its resources and follow energy efficient practices to maintain a higher surplus.
The unnecessary use of street lights during the day is a well-documented fact, and it leads to the wastage of electricity. To top it, the use of conventional lighting system adds to a higher power consumption and lower lumen per watt output. The use of sodium vapor lamp and incandescent bulbs as commercial lighting products are inadequate to meet the needs of Indian streets. The only solution lies in switching to energy efficient LED lights.
Electricity theft is a serious problem in India, especially in the rural areas. The lack of availability of data consumed by a power line is virtually non-existing. There are also no measures to determine a leak in the electricity grid.
However, to combat theproblem of powertheft,the government can use Internet of Things and integrateit with ICT(Information and Communications Technology). Analyzing data by switching to remote monitoring solutions will allow the authorities to determine the actual width of the power band.
WAYS TO OPTIMIZE INDIA’S STREET LIGHTING
The problem of street lighting in India can be efficiently curbed by switching to LEDs. LEDs along with Internet of Things not just prove to be energy efficient but also offer quality lifestyle for its citizens.
India is taking significant steps to replace the conventional street lights with LEDs. Recently, Government of India initiated the ‘World’s Largest Street Light Replacement Programme’ by replacing 15.59 lakh street lights with LED lights in the country. With a total energy saving of 20.66 crore kWh and by reducing 1.71 lakh tons of greenhouse gas emissions per annum, India is gradually bringing in the necessary change. Here’s why India should continue on this path.
- Low Energy Consumption – LEDs consume over 80-90 percent of less energy than the conventional lighting system. Street Lights if replaced with LEDs will substantially reduce energy consumption, aid towards the optimum utilization of energy and will have lower operational costs.
- Take the Skyline LED by Wipro for instance. It is pressure die-cast IP 66 LED streelight that is suitable for primary roads, and it offers best in class efficiency resulting in high energy saving and maintenance free long service life.
Long and Predictable Lifetime–LEDs have a lifespan of more than 10-15 years and up to 4-6 times more than the outgoing lighting system. Since, LEDs last long, it is a practical choice to use them in street lighting projects. They will not only be replaced at a much longer interval but will ensure a lower maintenance cost.
- Better Output and Eco-Friendly – LEDs have a higher lumen per watt output than the conventional system, and it results in more light production and less energy consumption. LEDs are also environment-friendly and free from hazardous chemicals. The use of LEDs has a significant impact in safeguarding the environment.
HOW LEDS CAN BOOST QUALITY OF LIFE
Safety of Women–LEDs are compatible with IoT. Internet of Things is the inter-networking of physical devices like LED lights with other devices embedded with network connectivity, electronics, software, and sensors thatenable devices to exchange data with each other. LEDs can be controlled virtually by a device, and they can be equipped with detection sensors.This further helps in ensuring women safety as they can conveniently raise the alarm with this technology.
Better Driving Experience – LEDs are bright and uniformly lit. They also do not flicker like conventional bulbs, thus providing a seamless experience. Driving on roads and highways lit with LEDs is safer because of heightened visibility. LEDs are equipped with a better design and are also aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.
- The quality of Life – LEDs are not just energy efficient and have a higher longevity, but they also contribute immensely towards the improving the quality of life. LEDs add value to an area since they stand out visually. Using LEDs in public spaces like street lights will not only cut down energy costs but will also add to the aesthetics of that area.
A smart lighting solution based on IoT can keep track of data viz. some functional lights, and the amount of power each light consumes. It can also operate lights and control a power grid. Intelligent lighting is the need of the hour, and India can integrate IoT with LED street lights to ensure that the citizens get a better quality of life.