Smart Lighting Initiative Replaces Legacy Infrastructure

One of the most populous cities in America is updating its infrastructure. Chicago will work on having smart street lights in the entire city throughout the next several years—and construction companies will be responsible for putting this more modern system in place.

Ameresco, Inc., an energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced it has contracted with the City of Chicago for the City’s comprehensive Smart Street Lighting Project to modernize its infrastructure. Working with Silver Spring Networks, Inc. a networking platform and solutions provider for the Internet of Things (IoT), the project will connect more than 250,000 street light fixtures across Chicago.

The four-year modernization project is expected to transform Chicago’s street light system by replacing approximately 85 percent of the City’s existing street lights with smart light-emitting diode (LEDs). The multi-phase project will commence this summer.

The City of Chicago’s lighting replacement initiative will be one of the largest modernization programs to date in the U.S. Mayor Emanuel is committed to improving the lives of citizens and neighborhoods across the City of Chicago with state-of-the-art IoT technology.

More than half of the light fixtures in at least the first year will be assembled at a plant in the City of Chicago, and the project will use City residents to perform at least 50 percent of the work on the project.

The new smart LED street lights will be owned and operated by the City of Chicago, supported by Silver Spring Networks’ managed services and its Streetlight Vision Control and Management System software.

The new LED street lights are expected to consume between 50 and 75 percent less electricity than the City’s existing lighting infrastructure. Silver Spring’s IPv6 platform will enable the City to remotely dim or brighten street lights as needed, as well as to remotely monitor street lights for proactive maintenance and faster repairs if failures do occur.

The economics and benefits of the smart street light network approach will help the City manage its resources prudently, and achieve sustainability-driven initiatives and goals throughout the community.

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