Making the World a “Smarter” Place, One Streetlight at a Time

Making the World a “Smarter” Place, One Streetlight at a Time

It used to be that going out at night wasn’t a safe idea. Then, streetlights were invented.

They truly revolutionized the way people traveled, socialized, and conducted business. Light poles continue to transform the world with “smart” technology.

Steady Progress

We’re already doing some pretty amazing things with light poles. Here’s what we’ve seen so far:

1. Sharing Information

Did you know you can retrieve information from a light pole with your smartphone? The pole offers helpful data, like geographic coordinates, local traffic updates, news of nearby events, and available parking spots. The light pole serves as the new “word on the street.”

2. Two-Way Communication

Smart poles are starting to include various methods for communication, like:

• Emergency buttons that allow people to call for help
• Built-in speakers that broadcast information
• Sensors that can detect rising floodwaters, structural instability, and even gunfire, then relay that information to first responders at command centers
• Pole-mounted LED banners that promote upcoming events, real-time traffic information, and Amber Alerts

3. Energy Conservation

While streetlights are necessary, they account for up to 40% of a city’s electricity usage. To lower operating costs, many cities are switching to LED lights and an “intelligent” system, which can cut energy costs by 70% and significantly reduce the environmental impact. Plus, many streetlights now have sensors that automatically adjust the brightness based on the time of day, cloud coverage, and pedestrian activity.

Back to the Future

Many of us dream of the future and what it might hold. Flying cars? Time travel? Lunar living? While those ideas may be a little far-fetched right now, light poles are getting even smarter and could soon provide some amazing additional benefits.

1. Re-Charge

Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular every year. Streetlights would be convenient charging stations while you’re shopping or dining.

2. Look, Ma! No Hands!

With self-driving cars starting to appear, light poles offer a unique “address” for pick-up and drop-off locations. Autonomous vehicles use a variety of sensors to navigate and can easily connect to apps that identify GPS coordinates.

3. The New Weatherman

Sensors installed in light poles could monitor climate, air quality, noise, and other environmental factors, then send that information to city officials or property managers so they can adjust or make improvements accordingly.

4. Drone Perch

Amazon has started experimenting with drones for nearby deliveries. Light poles can easily host “perches” or landing pads that also serve as charging stations, simplify cargo transfers, and facilitate communication.

As you can see, light poles do so much more than improve visibility at night. Their evolution is necessary to enable cities to become “smarter.” And as the demand increases for smart poles, General Structures, Inc. is at the forefront of this vertical real estate, lighting the way to a brighter future.

Ready to join the movement? Contact Michael. Eager to learn more? Check out our white paper, Providing the Poles that Connect Tomorrow’s World Today.

About Us

General Structures, Inc. has been the best partner for C&I lighting standards since 1988. We adhere to standards set forth by AASHTO, ASTM International, and NEMA and weld all of our products to the highest American Welding Society standards.

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