Urban lighting in cities is an unavoidable need, but it also represents a considerable cost. Light pollution has a relevant impact on the environment. Nowadays, urban lighting systems use the luminaires at certain predetermined times. This implies a continuous and uniform illumination of the area at night.
In recent years, more sustainable and intelligent urban lighting strategies are being developed, such as systems based on the detection of people using infrared sensors installed in each luminaire. These types of systems suppose a lower consumption since they regulate the intensity of the light and increase it only when there is human presence. However, this option requires the installation of a large number of sensors, which implies a significant cost.
In this sense, a Spanish research group has designed a highly scalable system able to graduate the light intensity based on human presence in a determined area. This invention combines the advantages of the internet of things (IoT) and cloud computing systems.
The system is based on the use of the large number of traffic and security cameras on public roads, for the detection of human presence in an area. To this end, a distributed system is defined. The system architecture consists of different layers (Figure 1):
• First layer: acquisition sensors, consisting of image or video cameras, and actuators consisting of variable intensity luminaries.
• Second layer: cloudlet processing platforms that will be deployed in a context close.
• Third layer: remote servers accessible via the Internet.
The technology can be applied in these cases:
• Information technology sector.
• Installation and maintenance services of urban lighting networks.
• Local councils and public entities.
• Enterprises, shopping centers, health centers and entities that manage large spaces that have a network of luminaires.
The research group is mainly looking for companies interested in acquiring this technology for its commercial exploitation through license agreement. The company should be responsible for the development of the commercial prototype, the validation of the technology, its installation and its introduction into the market. The university will be ready to provide technical assistance in each step, if required.
However, the research group would be also interested in establishing technical cooperation agreements to further develop the laboratory-scale prototype, to find new applications or to adapt it to the company’s needs. The goal of this type of collaboration would be increasing the technology readiness level for a future commercial exploitation of the patent. The university would offer its support based on their know-how; while, the partner sought would provide its expertise to help improve this invention. The university would offer this partner a preferential option to acquire this technology in exclusivity.