Public Lighting and the Internet of Things: Examples from Amsterdam

Digital LED lighting systems are revolutionizing the lighting industry. These systems, which combine energy-saving light-emitting diode bulbs with wireless technology, enable new ways of integrating lighting into public spaces and neighborhoods. Light- ing networks can be connected to other urban-systems applications as well, creating new efficiencies for increasingly intelligent cities. The session will provide valuable background knowledge on information and communications technology as well as LED. In addition, participants will take away practical ideas on how to integrate these elements into public spaces.


Introduction by Gordon Feller

What are the characteristics that make a city successful? We touched on that a few times. We thought it would be a good idea to look at one city that’s now the focal point of some experiments where technology is being applied but with a view to the social, cultural, and the aesthetic milieu. I think it’s probably a good moment in the schedule to ask two colleagues from Amsterdam to come and join us: Christoph Herzig with Philips, James Crowther with Cisco, partners in crime, with making an effort underway in Amsterdam to do something which I think you’ll find remarkable. Thanks, gents.

James Crowther

Thank you, Gordon. Thank you very much. Good afternoon, everybody. My name is James Crowther. I’m employed within the Internet Business Solutions Group in our Global Manufacturing Process. I’d like to introduce Christoph.

Christoph Herzig

Christoph Herzig, I’m in Global Marketing responsible in the business group for professional lighting solutions for outdoor systems and services. We’re going to take you today into the subject and examples in Amsterdam related to connected public lighting. The objective is that you take away that there is an often overlooked element of infrastructure in the public space that luckily came back yesterday and today in a couple of speeches. We want to show you the real potential of public lighting infrastructure in a smart city. We want to show you not the technical challenge but the business approach and an approach to take the cities along. We have not chosen Amsterdam by accident. We actually have learned that Amsterdam reportedly was the first city that introduced street lighting in a structured way. In 1667, an inventor and painter named Jan van der Heyden invented a lamp that was burning vegetable oil without the flicker that produced the smoke of other solutions during the day. It was introduced on a large scale in Amsterdam. We’re now ready to take this to a different level.

James Crowther

First of all, I would just like to introduce the partnership that we’re actually developing with Philips. As you know, Philips is actually divided into 3 business units. One of which is the healthcare area. The other area is the consumer lifestyle. What we’re going to be focusing on today is purely on lighting. I think the general trend across Philips at this moment is that things are more connected. More and more of the things and the devices that they’re actually building —I think of a toothbrush, I think of a MCI scanner, I think of a lamp post and I call it luminaire, by the way— are becoming more and more connected to sensors and to the internet. That really is the heart of the partnership that we’re actually driving at this moment. Susan in her presentation earlier talked about the amazing capabilities of LED in cities to change the livability. What we’re trying to do in this partnership is to combine the IP network or the intelligent information network to the street lamps or public lighting networks that Philips have obviously been driving for the last 80 years, which we think is a very, very exciting period of time to be in. There’s a major market transition that’s actually going on.

Christoph Herzig

Yes. We’re not only looking at thinking about this; we want to do it. Let’s take 2 steps back and refer to Susan’s presentation. We learned that there are 3 major benefits that come with LED. Number 1, the tremendous energy savings that we can achieve that is an excess of 60% compared to today’s installations. Secondly, a long lifetime which expands the lifetime of the light source by an effect of 5 to 10, providing an additional opportunities of maintenance savings of 15% to 30%. Thirdly, the controllability which doesn’t stop at dimming the light but it goes beyond, even adding color to the whole game. This is the story about lighting. There is a massive business case to do the transformation to LED lighting today. But in order to gain the full potential of this transformation, we believe we have to add another thing. With the digitization of lighting, there is also the informatization of this network going on. Establishing this network is the foundation for enabling the light pole to become the host for a multitude of services. Imagine: you put your power during the day. Proliferate it through the entire city and you have communication to each pole. What could you do? Imagine a very granular network of sensors allowing you to measure noise, allowing you to measure air pollution, allowing you to measure flow of people, traffic and correlate this data with other facts that pop up in the city. You are able to steer a smart city in a much more rigid and adaptive way.

It doesn’t stop there. The second aspect that is very important here is cities are looking for de-cluttering. New assets pop up in the city everyday on the street: EV charging station next to a waste bin next to a light pole next to an info terminal. There is a massive opportunity to converge these elements. We actually promote to not stop with very energy-efficient street lighting. We say turn this into a platform innovation and multiple services.

James Crowther

Clearly the challenge is to redefine what used to be called a lamp post because the lamp post in the future will not be a lamp post anymore. We think it’s going to be a multi-service vehicle which, as Christoph says, will actually decrease cluttering and also provide a fantastic open environment integrating video, surveillance, hotspots, a lot of different services based around an IP network where a lot of people can actually do a lot of innovation around the edge.

A quick word around Cisco on where we’re actually going: I think this year has been quite a significant year because we’re actually moving into what we’re calling the third era —the industrialization of the internet. We’ve actually set up 2 new business units in San Jose. One is around the connected energy; the other thing is around machine-to-machine. Clearly, we’re positioning ourselves when things become more sense- and more network-centric. What we’re actually doing here is build on these trends. There is no better area to start than actually around luminaires or lighting in cities because it’s very, very visible and very, very tangible area to start developing these networks.

What’s also very significant is we’re actually rolling out products built around a field area network which used to be called the smart grid −we prefer to call it the energy internet. That’s actually now becoming a real possibility. We’re actually working with energy utilities in Amsterdam. They’re actually rolling out these IP enablements: prime rate, secondary, right through to the street cabinet level which enables you then to connect the street lamp post to a variety of different technologies, including broadband to the actual smart grid. What we’re building now is an open innovation platform where not only lighting could be combined to the smart grid. Traffic management, garbage disposal, a lot of different services which traditionally have been siloed within the city council can now be combined together in an open way in producing a whole new portfolio of different possibilities and solutions.

Christoph Herzig

Before we go to the endless opportunities, let’s take 2 steps back and look again at what we mean by adaptive, context-driven street lighting and what elements have to work seamlessly together, and what Philips is actually doing to make this happen. We focus, of course, on the very efficient and best designed lighting devices that are driven by product performance and also aesthetics. We have to put in place −and we do− software controls that allow us to manage these both from a maintenance perspective and also for adaptability. We also add local intelligence. We are enabling communication from one pole to another so actually, multiple light poles act as a local system and provide experience to a citizen, to a pedestrian, to a car driver that is driven by local controls. The seamless interaction between the central management as well as the local control and we see here a migration of intelligence is super important in this transformation. We all know −we’re kind of geeks− digitization and informatization go along in parallel and they are highly iterative processes. It is very, very difficult to now make choices on the winning technology. What we’re looking at and what is the foundation of our approach toward cities is what Gordon Falkner of Cisco introduced in his point of view lately on the asset bundling. It allows us to look at −and this is extremely important− at the different departments of the city and look at their entire operating models, IT systems and infrastructures that are in use as well as their processes. Then we create meaningful asset bundles that are driven from the scenarios we want to create in the city. Only by managing these asset bundles and define them as a scope are we able to put right governance in place. We all know cities are very complex environments and still organized around silos. We see this every day. Breaking down these silos will allow us to break through this gridlock.

James Crowther

OK, let’s get practical. You heard the strategy. You heard the direction which both companies are actually partnering in. We’ve actually initiated a couple of proof-of-concept projects in Amsterdam based on the premise that there’s no better way to actually get the answers and find out how to solve some of the issues −like value change, business model, ownership of the lamp post− than actually to figure it out on the ground. We’ve actually initiated 2 concepts that are very, very different in nature. I’m going to talk about the first one before handing it over to Christoph to start talking about the second.

The first one is around an area in Amsterdam which I’ll describe in a minute called Amsterdam Southeast. That’s actually the home of a quite famous soccer club which is visited by 9 million people every day. It’s also an area which includes a low-income area and also a residential retail area. What does that mean? That means we can address a lot of different business drivers or value drivers and we actually can integrate different solutions into the lamp post or luminaire depending on the need of the local community in the area. How are we approaching this? We’ve obviously sat down with Carolien Gehrels and her team in the city of Amsterdam and contributing to the overall vision of the city, specifically a lighting vision. The first step that we actually have to take was to build a value case; build around total value ownership. Parallel to that, we set up a couple of design teams utilizing the amazing capabilities of Philips in the area of design, actually, the aesthetics of the lamp itself. After we’ve done that, we’ve done the economics. We’ve also built the user cases. We can then insert architectures which we think will be applicable to that particular area, bearing in mind that different areas of Amsterdam or this location will obviously require different kinds of architecture depending on the last mile and the amount of bandwidth we need to stream to the lamp post. So this is the area. It’s a very new area of Amsterdam. This area 20 years ago was effectively a cow field. You can obviously see the amazing development that’s actually happened. It’s actually part of where Cisco lives. It’s actually our own backyard. The interesting thing here is that you have different areas where you can obviously try and experiment different kinds of modules or different kinds of flavors of lighting combined with some of these other solutions. As I’ve said, you’ve got the Amsterdam Arena here which leads through to an area with a lot of crime. Bicycle theft, would you believe, is quite prevalent in that area. I think if you took out bicycle theft, it would have one of the lowest crime rates. Also, there’s a large area of buildings that were built in the ‘60s and with huge amounts of open, dangerous spaces between them where obviously, we can do surveillance and things. Let’s look at the value case. This is a piece of work that, again, we’re driving with Philips. I think the key takeaway here is that traditionally if you were to look at lighting, you’d struggle to get a net present value of above zero over 5 years. It’s like building a new swimming pool. However, when you start building other solutions around lighting, you can address different value drivers for different kinds of stakeholders in the area. Think about the city of Amsterdam. Reduction of police time through dynamic surveillance or crowd control, providing people not only with marketing data but also safety and surveillance data. You can obviously have the big data question, bearing in mind that around this architecture, there is going to be a lot of open systems and a huge exhaust of data being spat out through combining traffic, garbage disposal, lighting altogether. Obviously, we have the CO2 impact that Susan and Christoph already mentioned earlier in the presentation, together with the value drivers that politicians are looking for such as the GDP impact, job creation, as well as people’s happiness to live in that area. Looking around the entertainment areas, retail areas, you can see things like digital advertising. Obviously, there will be some plays in the marketplace by those who are very, very interested to utilize HD screens built into the lamp posts themselves. Around visitors and residents, there’s the ability to combine lighting with traffic management in providing dynamic routing and dynamic signing away from major sports events, for example. So there are a lot of business drivers which are also the dynamics of the business case. For the first time, it provides you with a revenue upside in regard to lighting and adjacent services.

Christoph Herzig

Sorry, Gordon. We’re going overtime, I think. If you allow me, I would like to bring this case up. This is WesterGasFabriek. This is going to be our living lab between Cisco and Philips. It also has to do with lighting. This was a gas production site in the end of the 19th century. The gas was extracted from coal for use in gas street lights. In 1967, this plant was shut down and turned into a vibrant, cultural, living and working place with startups in media and a lot of events. We are proud that we are able with our joint solutions bring first experiences into the WesterGasFabriek which is a very close place to the center of Amsterdam. We are able then to take these solutions and test them on a larger scale, for example the Southeast project. By that, we are able to scale. The only thing that we measure is relevance and impact. This will be the proof point. This is how we like to wrap it up. Thanks, Gordon, for allowing us to be part of your super conference here.

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