Intelligent environments for cities

Technology never stops advancing. Today, we have reached the stage where something as ordinary as light bulbs have evolved into intelligent devices. Light bulbs are being designed to be more sensitive and reactive to its surroundings, making it economically, environmentally and socially relevant.

General Electric (GE) developed the technology called networked intelligent LED lighting systems, which is equipped with sensors that can feel and hear.

For example, a street lamp on a dark street has a fully activated sensor that can react to sudden sounds and movements. If an individual is walking alone at night on the way home and hears a cry for help from another person, the sound made will trigger the street lamp to shine brighter than usual and serve as an alert.

This is part of the Internet of Things (IoT), a network of technological devices that has the capacity to communicate and exchange data via the Internet allowing remote control and access to particular infrastructures, in this case, the light bulb.

Predix, is a cloud-based solution that provides a tool targeted and designed to collect and analyse exactly the kind of data needed for illuminated ‘smart cities.’ With the LED lighting systems, communities can save on resources and benefit the environment.

An example is the Setia Eco Hill Township in Semenyih and the Elmina East Township in Shah Alam that are now using this smart technology. Due to the use of LED lights in the street lamps, they are set to save almost RM1mil in running costs.

The same type of technology can now light up homes. Sensors can assess room occupancy, regulating lighting to save energy and automatically adjust for the comfort of the occupants.

Furthermore, energy companies are already working on an advanced portfolio of intelligent lighting that allow consumers to synchronise smartphones and tablets to home lighting solutions.

If a person forgets to turn off the lights before leaving the house in the morning or is planning to go away from home over the weekend, there’s a possibility to remotely turn the lights on and off using a mobile device, saving energy during the day and perhaps keeping away burglars in the wee hours of the night.

Lighting our communities is not simply a question of aesthetics and simply brightening spaces, it goes to the core of what they should provide: a safe, happy environment in which residents can live and thrive. Through intelligent lighting, people have more control over places that should feel most comfortable and secure: communities, cities and homes.

Smart LED lighting solutions don’t just offer convenience, but an efficient lighting solution for a smarter, sustainable future. It doesn’t only promise a brighter community, it also helps provide a safer world.

By O Swee Aun (country manager of GE Lighting Malaysia)