Enterprise Europe Network

Intelligent and sustainable urban lighting system

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Partner keyword: 
Cloud Technologies
Internet of Things
Other consumer services (including photo processing)
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering
Tertiary education


A Spanish University has developed a system that allows the control of the urban lighting of a city intelligently, reducing its energy consumption. The technology uses the existing infrastructure and controls the level of lighting required based on the human presence in the area. This system is scalable and can be implemented in any urban area. The research group is looking for companies interested in commercially exploiting this technology through license or technical cooperation agreements.



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.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The main innovation of the system is that it combines different elements of the IoT paradigm and cloud computing for the design of a highly scalable and efficient intelligent lighting system. The system integrates existing image or video acquisition devices on public roads with remote computing platforms cloudlet and cloud computing that assist the necessary advanced processing. The computational methods developed take advantage of this infrastructure to distribute the processing among acquisition devices, cloudlet platforms and remote systems through the application of mobile cloud computing. The system has the following advantages: • It allows advanced video and digital image analysis based on remote processing that ensures greater security over the real presence of people in the area. This method is more effective than detection by infrared sensors. • It obtains a considerable reduction in energy consumption by decreasing lighting when there is no human presence in the area, which occurs during most of the night. • It does not require an added infrastructure, since it takes advantage of the image capture systems already existing on public roads to analyze the presence of people. • The distributed processing of images is an advantage because it allows covering the volume of analysis necessary to control a wide area. • It is highly scalable and can be used both in confined spaces and in large cities. • It allows the integration of additional services under the same platform.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
- Type of partner sought: companies; local councils; government institutions. - Specific area of activity of the partner: information technology; urban lighting. - Task to be performed: * In the license agreement: to buy a license for the technology, to make the technology validation in real scenarios and to introduce it into the market. * In the technical cooperation agreement: to provide their expertise in order to collaborate with the scientists on further development and improvements of the technology. The company should identify technical requirements and/or market and client’s needs in order to carry out further technical development so that the market readiness will be increased and the technology could be commercially exploited.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,>500 MNE,251-500,SME 51-250,>500