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Connected Lighting System Streetscape

Outdoor connected lighting systems (CLS) are capable of implementing schedule- and event-based adaptive lighting schemes and optimizing maintenance efforts, thereby delivering improved lighting service and reducing energy consumption. However, at present, it is not possible for most municipalities to realize energy cost savings from the implementation of adaptive lighting strategies, and maintenance cost savings are difficult to estimate. As a result, many municipalities and utilities are struggling to justify the added cost of CLS. While CLS also promise a wide array of services and benefits that enhance the value of the lighting system, at present the value of these benefits are difficult to quantify.

DOE studies focus on evaluating the accuracy by which outdoor CLS can report their own energy consumption and the ability of outdoor CLS to reduce maintenance costs, enabled by key new features. Through conversations with early adopters, DOE is also exploring interest in the ability of outdoor CLS to deliver other key new features, which are typically enabled by the integration of one or more sensors into the CLS. In addition to a range of occupancy and daylight sensors, other types of sensors that can be installed include those to measure carbon dioxide, sound, and barometric pressure — resulting in such “smart city” features as guidance to available parking spaces, air quality monitoring, theft detection, weather warnings, and transit optimization.

Technical Support

  • DOE is providing technical support to the City of Chicago for their Smart Lighting Project.
  • DOE is also collaborating with National Grid and Georgia Power in the evaluation of the energy reporting accuracy of connected streetlighting controllers.


  • In-progress key new features studies conducted in DOE’s connected lighting test bed (CLTB) are examining the ability of outdoor CLS to retrieve both electrical data and asset data from streetlights.
  • Additional CLTB studies will evaluate and characterize sensor performance, sensor integration with CLS, and their ability to communicate with interoperable streetlight controllers.

Related Resources

Emerging Technology Primer: Networked Outdoor Lighting Control Systems 

Specification: Model Specification for Networked Outdoor Lighting Control Systems