Light + Building 2020 is fast approaching and ahead of the event we’re reflecting on its key themes. ‘Connecting. Pioneering. Fascinating.’ are the core headlines of Light + Building 2020 and have been put in place to represent the latest trends and developments in the building and lighting sector. This blog aims to explore the theme of ‘connecting’ and what it means to us in the world of intelligent street lighting and smart cities.
What it means to us
As the impetus of energy efficiency and data management grows, street lighting as we know it is seeing a huge shift. We remain at the forefront of innovation, developing new products that enable citywide connectivity, with solutions that can be installed on existing street lighting infrastructure to intuitively gather data and communicate aspects affecting the surrounding environment.
The connected lamppost is an integral factor for smarter, more responsive cities and, with the integration of IoT, can be a pivotal feature throughout future urban areas across the UK and beyond.
‘Connecting’ can be applied to various areas of the smart city ecosystem. Of course, the most obvious example of ‘connecting’ is making urban infrastructure (such as street lighting) able to communicate throughout the city to send and receive data.
In order to make street lighting connected, intelligent hardware is required to transform the streetlight. Our smart city Ki. Node has been designed to seamlessly integrate with existing and new street lighting infrastructure, with a number of fitting options, to help city leaders control and monitor illumination levels, as well as power use and faults.
Connecting streetlights requires the lamppost to be IoT enabled, via smart devices, so data can be transmitted and received in real-time. In this respect ‘connecting’ means making street lighting, or other urban infrastructure, part of a larger network rather than independent from one another; uniting assets throughout a city via internet or radio communications.
Connecting with Communication
To facilitate the capture of street lighting data, street lighting schemes must be constantly connected; communications need to take place freely and securely at all times. ‘Connecting’ is another way to describe the way smart city assets wirelessly communicate with one another.
Sending messages to and from a streetlight requires high quality city-wide communications. We understand this requirement, which is why communications throughout the Ki. ecosystem are enhanced via an open protocol, enabled by LoRaWAN®. This helps cities become smarter and more responsive by making it easier to transform existing infrastructure into IoT enabled assets, which communicate with gateways to relay messages between end-devices (like the Ki.Node) and a central network server (like the Ki. City Platform).
This wireless communication takes advantage of the LoRaWAN® Long Range characteristics, allowing a link between the end-device and one or many gateways. All modes are capable of bi-directional communication, and there is support for multicast addressing groups to make efficient use of spectrum during tasks such as Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) upgrades or other mass distribution messages
Connecting through Collaboration
‘Connecting’ also represents the relationship between two (or more) things. Throughout the development of smart cities, collaboration is vital to help excel the rate of innovation and ensure the interoperability between different vendors. It is collaboration that makes an open ecosystem possible.
By building an open ecosystem, through the use of open protocols and collaboration, it means that political decision makers are able to take control over the solutions that make their cities smart. Proprietary systems are a thing of the past, open ecosystems unlock single vendor tie-in to aid the integration of multiple smart city solutions that can truly solve the needs of citizens.
Ki. is interoperable with a number of network providers for optimum and consistent connectivity, regardless of scale. This aids the management of data flow within the ecosystem to capture, send and receive information, bi-directionally, at all times.
By connecting with collaborators to develop solutions that truly address the unique challenges of each region, smart cities can be responsive to the needs of the community in a real time and relevant way that ulitmately enhances quality of life. At Light + Building 2020, Lucy Zodion will be showcasing it’s Ki. smart city solution, to demonstrate the importance of openness in the connected world.