Toronto town settles on smart lights for now

Broader smart city functions could come later, but the clever, cost-saving LED lights will at first stick closer to illumination purposes.

In another reminder that there’s “smart” and then there’s “really smart,” the large town of Richmond Hill, Ontario, has replaced conventional street lights with smart, Internet-connected LED luminaires that have slashed energy and maintenance costs, but where the really smart stuff is yet to come.

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Framingham, MA-based renewable energy services firm Ameresco led a team of contractors that will soon complete installation of 13,000 LED luminaires from Halifax, Nova Scotia-based LED Roadway Lighting.

Using wireless mesh topology and management software from Itron and its newly acquired Silver Spring Networks, and apps from Sterling, VA-based TerraGo, the town of nearly 200,000 people near Toronto anticipates cutting its lighting-related electricity and maintenance bill by $1.5 million annually, according to a TerraGo spokesperson.

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By Mark Halper
Contributing Editor, LEDs Magazine, and Business/Energy/Technology Journalist