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An energy efficient pedestrian aware Smart Street Lighting system

Reinhard Müllner (Institute for Pervasive Computing, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria)
Andreas Riener (Institute for Pervasive Computing, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Linz, Austria)

International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications

ISSN: 1742-7371

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




Conventional street lighting systems in areas with a low frequency of passersby are online most of the night without purpose. The consequence is that a large amount of power is wasted meaninglessly. With the broad availability of flexible‐lighting technology like light‐emitting diode lamps and everywhere available wireless internet connection, fast reacting, reliably operating, and power‐conserving street lighting systems become reality. The purpose of this work is to describe the Smart Street Lighting (SSL) system, a first approach to accomplish the demand for flexible public lighting systems.


This work presents the SSL system, a framework developed for a dynamic switching of street lamps based on pedestrians' locations and desired safety (or “fear”) zones. In the developed system prototype, each pedestrian is localized via his/her smartphone, periodically sending location and configuration information to the SSL server. For street lamp control, each and every lamppost is equipped with a ZigBee‐based radio device, receiving control information from the SSL server via multi‐hop routing.


This research paper confirms that the application of the proposed SSL system has great potential to revolutionize street lighting, particularly in suburban areas with low‐pedestrian frequency. More important, the broad utilization of SSL can easily help to overcome the regulatory requirement for CO2 emission reduction by switching off lampposts whenever they are not required.

Research limitations/implications

The paper discusses in detail the implementation of SSL, and presents results of its application on a small scale. Experiments have shown that objects like trees can interrupt wireless communication between lampposts and that inaccuracy of global positioning system position detection can lead to unexpected lighting effects.


This paper introduces the novel SSL framework, a system for fast, reliable, and energy efficient street lamp switching based on a pedestrian's location and personal desires of safety. Both safety zone definition and position estimation in this novel approach is accomplished using standard smartphone capabilities. Suggestions for overcoming these issues are discussed in the last part of the paper.



Müllner, R. and Riener, A. (2011), "An energy efficient pedestrian aware Smart Street Lighting system", International Journal of Pervasive Computing and Communications, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 147-161.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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