Public lighting on municipal roads are being connected and forming part of a smart municipal network. The main objective of public lighting is to provide lighting for roads and to guarantee safety. In the case of a smart city, the light fixture in public areas is more than that. Download here our free white paper about smart lighting applications, their advantages and the business models behind them.


The light fixture is connected. In the same way the location of a smartphone is known, the location of every single fixture is digitised. The digitisation provides the municipality with an overview of the complete lighting network: the actual electricity consumption, number of lighting hours per lamp, overview of maintenance work, number of interventions, actual maintenance costs, etc. 

At certain locations in the town or city the connected lights are integrated with other smart city applications. For example, when a sound sensor or camera detects an accident, the brightness of the lighting in the area is increased. Another example is that the brightness of lights is increased to the maximum level when a movement sensor detects a group of people. The brightness of the lights may also be set dynamically depending on the passer-by type. The light fixture, therefore, becomes a multifunctional hub of digital applications. 

Businessmodels and their ROI

We have determined that the first step is to replace the conventional fixtures by LED fixtures. The replacement in Belgium is taking longer than in our neighbouring countries the Netherlands and France where they already have 10% and 7% LED fixtures, respectively, as opposed to 2.3% in Belgium. 

A strategy should be in place for each municipality which indicates which fixtures are to be connected and which are not to be connected and which fixtures are to be integrated at some time in the future into the smart city applications.

Selecting the correct business model is also crucial: direct investment, leasing, light as a service or a PPP structure. The industry is ready to take on responsibility and the risks involved. PPP structures for public lighting are standard practice in France. It is an inspiring idea where the integrator plays a crucial role. 

The savings on the electricity bill varies, depending on the application, between 30% and 80%. The savings on the maintenance costs is easily 50%. Our towns and cities could save 700 million euros in 10 years. 

Free white paper

The smart energy workgroup, which is part of the smart cities group, converted this point of view into a white paper: “Smart public exterior lighting for the city of tomorrow”. The white paper provides an introduction to connected lighting, an overview of LED lighting options, information on connected LED lighting within a smart city context or not, various business models and inspiring examples. It gives recommendations on smart conversion from conventional to LED lighting. Recommendations for local and regional government institutions is provided at the end of the white paper. 

Our experts are ready to provide further information should you represent a local government institution or body that is considering implementing LED lighting within the smart city context or not. Contact Ingrid.reynaert@agoria.be for more information.

Download here your free copy of our white paper on public lighting: