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Viewpoint: The Role of Smart Lighting

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Outdoor lighting provides visibility and a safer environment within our communities. It also beautifies streetscapes to make our landscapes prettier. Municipalities and utilities provide lighting for the public good.

But serving the public with this highly visible infrastructure can be costly. Globally, outdoor lighting consumes 19 percent of energy use. On a local level, up to 40 percent of a city’s energy load can be attributed to streetlights. That percentage is high because a majority of streetlights today are inefficient, and they are not controlled or managed. Providing this key public good creates increased maintenance, decreased air quality and potentially high costs. Municipalities must get smarter when it comes to outdoor lighting.

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