Fifty smart streetlight controllers are being installed around Colorado Springs as part of a pilot project to test them for energy and operational efficiencies.

The controllers will go on existing LED streetlights as part of the SmartCOS program, a collaboration between the city of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities.

Twenty-two controllers will be located along Pikes Peak Avenue between Hancock Avenue and Union Boulevard, north of Memorial Park. The rest will go in various locations around the city.

“Through this SmartCOS pilot project, we are taking the initial steps needed to plan how we modernize our city’s streetlight infrastructure,” Josh Handley, manager of the city’s Office of Innovation said in a news release from the city.

“Our goal is to join cities around the world that are transforming their streetlights into energy-efficient assets that have the ability to integrate new technologies, contribute to a safer community, and provide long-term efficiencies and potential cost savings.”

The smart streetlight controllers will receive and transfer streetlight-related data through a secure cellular network. They will allow the city to:

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• remotely operate and control light levels;
• program lights to turn on and off, or dim to adapt to time of night, season or event;
• monitor energy consumption data; and
• receive notifications when a light goes out, and its exact location.

Ultimately, smart LED streetlights are expected to:

• reduce energy use;
• create safer environments;
• enhance asset management;
• lower operations and maintenance costs; and
• enable future SmartCOS solutions.

The goal is to collect data and analytics on streetlight use to plan for the conversion of the city’s streetlight infrastructure.

The city and CSU want to lay out a clear streetlight plan focused on energy and operational efficiency, asset management, reduced operation and maintenance costs and future smart city technology.

The city pays $4 million annually for Springs Utilities to maintain approximately 29,000 streetlights in Colorado Springs. About 10 percent of those have been converted to LEDs, and about 600 of the LEDs can integrate smart city technologies like the smart controllers.

SmartCOS is a joint effort between the city of Colorado Springs and Springs Utilities, in partnership with Panasonic CityNOW and other industry partners, to prepare for future technologies that cities will depend on, and to launch smart solutions to improve public services and quality of life in Colorado Springs.

Through the SmartCOS program, the city and Springs Utilities standardized the use of LED fixtures that can enable future smart technologies for all new and replaced streetlights.

The cost of the smart streetlight controller pilot, including the controllers and consulting fees, is $33,250. It’s funded by the city’s Office of Innovation.

After the six-month pilot project, the city and Springs Utilities will assess results, scalability and costs to potentially integrate smart controllers and accelerate the conversion of Colorado Springs’ streetlights to LEDs.

To learn more, visit the city’s website.

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