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A More Intelligent Street Light System Empowered by Fibocom NB-IoT Modules

Under the splendid night view of the city, there are invisible huge energy consumption, labor and operating costs hidden behind the colorful street lights. Maintaining a highly efficient street light system is essential to urban service and the well-being of citizens. However, due to the large number of street lights, the efficiency of troubleshooting is extremely low and requires a lot of manpower for maintenance. Fortunately, the emergence of NB-IoT technology enables street lights to access the wireless network to achieve large-scale interconnection. The adoption of an intelligent IoT street light system is a sustainable choice for cities today and will be of great significance to the quality of urban services, energy saving, operating cost saving, and improvement of road safety.

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Intelligent Brightness Adjustment
Replacing traditional sodium lamps, the intelligent street lights use LED technology to provide lighting to the road. Working with light sensors installed on the lamp, these smart street lights are able to automatically detect the light level of the road and adjust the brightness of LED accordingly. An intelligent street light system also grants the government the ability to control light usage based on time periods or traffic density. With motion detectors embedded, the IoT street lights can be automatically dimmed when there is no traffic at midnight, and can be brightened when passengers or vehicles are detected. Current excessive street lighting that results in energy waste and increases in maintenance burden can be effectively avoided by automatically adapting street light usage based on demands. According to some field experiments conducted by smart city labs, switching to NB-IoT street light system can save 30% of electricity consumption. The intelligent conversion of light brightness is also remarkable in reducing light pollution as it can always maintain brightness at a comfortable level for people to avoid visual fatigue and dizziness due to excessive lighting.

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Automatic Reporting
The lack of automatic error reporting function of traditional street light system, which leads to low efficiency in troubleshooting, has imposed a great burden on maintenance. Empowered by NB-IoT technology, intelligent IoT street lights can perform automatic inspection and report error messages to the government with accurate locations. This series of automatic diagnosis and reporting operations can significantly reduce manual maintenance costs and enhance efficiency, allowing the government to perform timely repairs and provide a higher quality city lighting service. Meanwhile, embedded with NB-IoT modules, IoT street lights can share voltage, current, power consumption and lighting status periodically via the cellular networks with the central management system for statistical and management improvement purposes. Through smart software, these data can be visualized into an intuitive graphical report to compare the performance of street light service in different time periods and traffic zones. A better understanding of the city’s lighting performance can help the government better control urban expenditures while providing optimal services. Its capability to automatically inspect and diagnose street light malfunctions can save labor and operating costs by 60%.

NB-IoT Street Light System – A Big Step Toward a Smarter City
Intelligent NB-IoT street light system presents tremendous benefits from the perspectives of cost, service quality and management, and it marks a big step towards a smarter connected city. Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), which now has been classified as a 5G technology, is ideal for future smart street light scenarios considering its business benefits in power efficiency, wide deployment, reliability and global reach. With lower power consumption of NB-IoT technology, street lights can maintain a longer life while satisfying medium-low rate data transmission between the lights and the system. The low installation cost of NB-IoT technology will also alleviate the economic burden of urban construction.


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Fibocom’s NB-IoT module N510 is designed to offer an affordable wireless data transmission solution for scenarios that require large-scale IoT deployment with massive end devices. The NB-IoT N510 module supports the global frequency band and integrates multiple network protocols. It is available in LCC+LGA form factor and supports eDRX, PSM low power consumption mode, which is an ideal solution for IoT industry applications with low power consumption and ultra-small size as core requirements. With global certification, Fibocom’s N510 module is able to meet different deployment requirements of customers from all over the world. At present, the NB-IoT N510 module has been widely used in fields such as smart agriculture, smart cities, smart grids, smart metering and etc.


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