Home Emerging Technology A bright future: how smart LED lighting is being innovated in Australia

A bright future: how smart LED lighting is being innovated in Australia


From improving civic safety to lowering emissions, the adoption of smart LED lighting in Australian cities has a host of benefits and is proving another key part of smart city development.

Smart street lighting is a huge growth sector in Australia and overseas, providing a host of smart city solutions.

According to a report by IoT analyst firm Berg Insight, 10.4 million smart street lights had been installed around the world by the end of 2018. By 2023, that figure is expected to rise to 31.2 million.

Europe accounts for around 40 per cent of the globe’s smart street lighting, followed by North America at 30 per cent.

In Australia, strides are being made in adopting smart lighting, which led to the smart street lighting initiatives of two Northern Territory local councils – Palmerston and Darwin – being shortlisted in the 2020 IDC Smart City Asia Pacific Awards.

Though neither won a prize, it was nevertheless recognition of the work that’s being done in providing smart street lighting control systems across Australia.

Smart city LED lighting

The City of Palmerston’s Smart Cities initiative has seen the installation of smart lighting in crime hotspots to improve civic safety. Under the Council’s Accelerated Smart LED Street and Public Lighting Replacement Program, 4,879 street and public lights throughout Palmerston have been replaced with smart LED luminaires.

Smart controls allow Council to manage lighting in real time using software that gathers asset management and maintenance data and remotely dims or brightens lighting. The switch from traditional lighting to a smart LED network has delivered numerous benefits to the local community including job creation and improved liveability, as well as a 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions and a 46 per cent drop in electricity costs.

The project is expected to save the city $2.59 million over 12 years, which will be invested in future capital works. The council has also established an open data portal publication catalogue to encourage regional innovation opportunities.

Darwin City Council’s $10 million Switching On Darwin project is delivering a range of technologies, including the upgrade of 912 CBD street lights to LED smart lighting, the extension of a free Wi-Fi network, the installation of 138 CCTV cameras in the CBD, sensors for vehicle and pedestrian movement analysis, smart parking technology, microclimate monitoring systems, and a smart city platform. 

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