A Danish industrial park is the unlikely setting for what organisers say is the largest living laboratory of streetlights ever established. Intelligent streetlights set up across a 1.5 kilometres square patch of Albertslund, near Copenhagen, are being monitored in a central location by a team of experts who can alter each individual light with a swipe of an iPad. Jim Drury saw the program in action.
Technicians at the Danish Outdoor Lighting Lab say their smart lighting experiment is the largest in the world. DOLL for short, the study involves 18 companies who've installed 50 lighting systems along this 1.5 kilometre square stretch of Copenhagen suburb Albertslund. Chief technical officer Kim Brostrom and his team monitor every light from this control room. SOUNDBITE (English) KIM BROSTRØM, CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER (CTO) OF DOLL LIVING LAB, SAYING: "We have installed nine kilometres of streets, we have 280 masts placed here, we have 50 different solutions, we have 10 different management systems, and we have a lot of different sensors." On some roads street lamps brighten as pedestrians, cyclists or cars approach, staying dark when no one's around. Each light can be controlled individually by iPad or phone, says Jakob Andersen, DOLL's chief science officer. SOUNDBITE (English) JAKOB ANDERSEN, CHIEF SCIENCE OFFICER (CSO) OF DOLL, SAYING: "From the control room every lamp has an IP address, so you can monitor the run time, the efficacy, ....the power consumption, and then we do real time measurements on the lux levels on street level." Focus Lighting is showcasing two of its systems. MD Peter Olivarius says DOLL will help municipal authorities make better informed decisions about city lighting. SOUNDBITE (English) PETER OLIVARIUS, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF FOCUS LIGHTING A/S, SAYING: "Light can be defined on a piece of paper but when you go in the real world you really see it solved in so many ways. So you have to visually feel the lights in the street before you can make the right choice of your lights." Copenhagen plans to install smart lights in their bid to become the world's first carbon-neutral city, so there's an added incentive for all participating companies. DOLL says street lighting accounts for up to a fifth of the city's electrical consumption. Brostrom reckons the solutions on display in Albertslund could help cut street light emissions by up to 85 percent. He says such an impact could light a path for a sustainable, inexpensive future for cities world-wide.