LTA installing smarter, energy-saving street lights

LED lights to replace all street lamps by 2022; remote control, monitoring system in the works

LED street lights, like these in Toa Payoh Lorong 1, emit white light and are about 25 per cent more energy efficient than the conventional high pressure sodium vapour lamps (far left).
LED street lights, like these in Toa Payoh Lorong 1, emit white light and are about 25 per cent more energy efficient than the conventional high pressure sodium vapour lamps (far left).ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

All street lamps will be replaced with energy-efficient light emitting diodes (LED) in five years, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

The replacement of 4,000 lights at 500 low-traffic and residential roads will be completed by next year.

By 2019, 25,000 street lights in central Singapore, including areas such as Rochor Road, Kallang Road and New Bridge Road, will be retrofitted, the LTA said. A tender will be called.

There are more than 95,000 street lights islandwide to be replaced by 2022.

An LTA spokesman said the new lights, which will replace the orange glow of the conventional high pressure sodium vapour lamps with white light, are about 25 per cent more energy efficient.

Sodium vapour lamps must be replaced every three years, while LED lights have to be replaced only every decade. "This helps conserve energy and reduce maintenance and manpower costs," said an LTA spokesman.

Higher-powered street lights will be installed along expressways and arterial roads, which require greater illumination.

Professor Subodh Mhaisalkar of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) said the switch was a "fantastic" move towards energy efficiency, and could net energy savings of up to 45 per cent.

He said that even more could be saved with the introduction of smart controls that adjust light output based on road usage.

"The lights could dim at around 3am and become brighter only when a vehicle approaches," said the executive director of the Energy Research Institute @ NTU.

Other cities are also making the change to LED street lights. This year, London will replace more than 14,000 street lights.

Four years ago, Los Angeles replaced more than 100,000 street lights with LED ones. The move is estimated to save the American city $14.5 million annually.

The LTA is also developing a remote control and monitoring system that will allow street lights to be more responsive to weather conditions such as heavy rain.

While street lights currently follow a pre-programmed sunrise and sunset schedule, they can also be switched on in periods of low visibility such as during the haze.

However, this is now a process that has to be done by hand at each lamp, taking a few hours, said an LTA spokesman. The new system will allow the lights to be activated remotely.

The system, which will be implemented by 2022, will have automated fault detection and alert capabilities, making the maintenance of street lights more efficient.

The LTA gets feedback on about 800 faulty street lights per month. Checks are conducted nightly, and it takes about a month to check all the street lights here. The new system will allow the LTA to respond more quickly to faults.

The Government Technology Agency (GovTech) said it will work with the LTA to test the feasibility of using the remote monitoring system in an islandwide wireless sensor network.

The sensors will be used to collect and transmit environmental data such as temperature and humidity. This will enable "more efficient delivery of smart city services", said a GovTech spokesman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2017, with the headline 'LTA installing smarter, energy-saving street lights'. Subscribe