Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

ComEd plans to connect 18,000 Illinois streetlights to smart grid

Steve Rogerson
May 3, 2016
ComEd plans to replace nearly 18,000 streetlights with smart-ready LED streetlights in more than 50 Illinois municipalities. The upgraded technology is provided through ComEd’s Smart Ideas energy efficiency programme at no costs to municipalities within its service territory.
The LED streetlights are equipped for and need to be connected to a digital smart controller to be fully operational. Once the digital smart controller is installed, the streetlights will link to ComEd’s smart grid wireless network enabling two-way communications.
“Our smart grid investments are laying the foundation for innovation that is helping to enhance the everyday lives of our customers and communities,” said Val Jensen, senior vice president of customer operations at ComEd. “Installing smart-ready streetlights is the first step in expanding smart city innovations that provide cleaner options, greater operational efficiencies and strengthen safety and security for our communities.”
The streetlights will let municipalities remotely and instantaneously dim lights for energy savings and brighten or flash them for greater safety and receive immediate notification if a lamp is in need of maintenance. Additionally, on-demand control of smart streetlights can be given to first responders to manage during emergency situations.
“Maywood is pleased to be among the first municipalities to participate in ComEd’s smart-ready streetlight programme,” said Village of Maywood mayor Edweena Perkins. “These energy efficient light fixtures will enhance illumination along our streets, improving public safety and visibility. We appreciate ComEd for their customer commitment, and for providing smart energy to help their customers save.”
Other benefits of smart-ready LEDs streetlights include reducing energy usage; they consume only one-third the electricity of the fixtures they replace. They provide cost savings for municipalities through a reduced ComEd streetlight fee. And they are longer lasting – LED lights last up to one-and-a half times longer, which means fewer light fixture outages. They also provide better streetlight illumination, helping to brighten city streets with an attractive white-light.
In February 2015, ComEd launched its first smart streetlight proof of concept in Bensenville and Lombard to test smart streetlight technology. These smart streetlights use the wireless communications network ComEd installed as part of its smart grid investments.