Outdoor lighting saves energy

Sensus’ outdoor lighting reduces energy costs up to 70 percent.

Raleigh, N.C., February 21, 2011—Sensus is poised to help electric utilities and municipalities become more energy efficient and save money by using its FlexNet advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) system to provide communication and control of outdoor lighting, including streetlights.

In phase one, Sensus Lighting Control will combine FlexNet radio communication modules with high efficiency induction lighting, controlled using a FlexNet Metro base station. Electric utilities with a FlexNet AMI system currently deployed can dedicate a portion of the licensed radio spectrum to control outdoor lighting, adding new functionality to help reduce the total cost of ownership and increase the return on investment realized from the system.

For municipalities wanting to reduce energy and maintenance costs while maintaining public safety, Sensus offers an alternative to energy consuming high pressure sodium vapor (HPS) lamps. The Sensus Lighting Control series includes a complete replacement light assembly that uses an energy efficient induction lamp and ballast with an integrated FlexNet radio, providing complete two-way communication with each lamp in the service territory.

There are an estimated sixty million municipal streetlights alone in the US, more than half of which feature HPS lamps. "Simply replacing an HPS lamp with an induction-type light assembly can reduce energy consumption by 50 percent," said Randolph Wheatley, vice president of marketing at Sensus. “When that light is replaced with a FlexNet radio-equipped assembly, energy costs can typically be cut by up to 70 percent.”

Lights fitted with a FlexNet radio can be programmed to turn on and off at select times of the day or night. Unlike photocells, the radio control is more precise, allowing for pinpoint accuracy and energy savings.

“The induction lights have an instant on and off capability,” said Wheatley, “which means you don’t have to wait 30 minutes for them to warm up or cool down. That one hour difference accounts for a portion of the energy savings.”

The system will trigger an alarm when a light is not working properly, which means maintenance crews can be dispatched to the affected area instead of having to drive around looking for outages. Future product features include the ability to dim, blink or chase lights.

“The advantages of remote outdoor lighting control go beyond energy and maintenance savings,” said Wheatley. “Customers can use the advanced features to warn the public of a potential issue or even direct traffic in the case of an evacuation.” Utilities can also use the lighting control for load shedding by turning off selective lights and diverting the energy to other needs, particularly during extreme weather conditions.

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