At the University of Oslo we received a lecture from Tom Kristoferson who works for the Oslo Street Commission. As the city of peace, winter sports and strong environmental concerns, it only makes sense that the street commissioner would be innovative in his approach to lights in Oslo. Tom’s motto was “right light at any opportunity.”
System Structure and Functionality
Oslo has a lighting system that aims to make people as happy as possible, safe as possible and use the least amount of energy as possible. Streetlights are connected to their own streetlight grid and they each have their own address. It is possible for this system to be hooked up to whatever grid a given city has in place, but Oslo has chosen to put streetlights on their own grid. There are light meters that tell each individual light how much they need to give out at any given moment. The system allows for lights to dim when there is less traffic and to be made brighter if there is a car accident and more light is needed.
Potential energy savings
In some parts of the city a 70% reduction in energy usage has been measured! Tom told us that by no means is this large of a reduction seen all the time, but that there are energy savings tied to this system.
Lower operating costs and service to the public
This street light system truly is smart. If there are issues, the light itself can send a message through the grid to the system administrator. This means that the city has control over every single luminary, is collecting data and information about each part of the system every day and maintenance costs are reduced because problems are addressed in a very streamlined way.
The people of Oslo like this system because they also have the ability to let the city know if they would like the individual light outside of their house to be brighter or dimmer or if there is an issue with any lights they pass while going to and fro. All the citizen needs to do is provide the individual address of the luminary that they would like to report via a savvy website. The city has a policy that all complaints/requests are taken care of within 48 hours. The same service is in place for garbage pick-up, snow removal, water issues, potholes, etc. What a great city!