When people think about Smart Cities the first thing that comes to mind is new technology, and that is true when it comes to Smart Lighting and Smart Meters.
The Smart Lighting throughout Lansing was put in place with the help of Verizon in the implimentation of LED lighting. These lights are more energy efficient.
The Smart Meters through the city work with more detail to make bills more accurate. They also send out signals in case of an emergency, like a power outage, and send out a team to come and fix the problem.
LED lighting, or light emitting device, is the most energy efficient light bulb to date. As you can see in the image above it costs far less than the average light bulb and emits just as much energy.
LED bulbs are about 78% more energy efficient than normal lightbulbs. They also last up to 14 years and would require much less matience. LEDs also put light out in one specific direction descreasing light pollution by a lot and increasing brightness in the direction by a lot.
There are also essential differences that lead to LEDs being the better source of lighting. They are as follows:
- Light Source: LEDs are extremely small about the size of a fleck of pepper, and a mix of red, green, and blue LEDs are typically used to make white light.
- Direction: LEDs emit light in a specific direction, reducing the need for reflectors and diffusers that can trap light. This feature makes LEDs more efficient for many uses such as recessed downlights and task lighting. This is the key reason LEDs are a great use for decreasing light pollution.
- Heat: LEDs emit very little heat. In comparison, incandescent bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat.
The smart meters in Lansing will be set up on a grid based system allowing technologies to communicate with each other. This project involves the replacement of meters to nearly 97,000 electric and 56,000 water customers throughout our service territory over the next few years. There will be no costs about installing these new meters, but some meters are located inside homes and citizens must contact the company to set up an appointment to install them.
Previous meters only allowed for one-way communication, from the meter to the company. Some old meters are even slow and can give out some different fluctuations between cycles.
These new meters will communicate through low frequency radio signals allowing communicatiom from the BWL systems to the meters quickly. Data flowing both ways allows for the BWL to monitor and diagnose problems in the electric and water system. Information gathered through our smart grid will allow for more efficient outage restorations, integration with energy efficiency program, as well as customer visibility and control over individual electricity and water usage.