Philips teams with Cisco and Dutch energy utility Alliander on smart lighting project (UPDATED)

Outdoor scheme near Amsterdam Arena is an early example of cross-industry IoT collaboration. More connected lighting developments expected as soon as next week.

Philips teams with Cisco and Dutch energy utility Alliander on smart lighting project
Philips teams with Cisco and Dutch energy utility Alliander on smart lighting project

Outdoor scheme near Amsterdam Arena is an early example of cross-industry IoT collaboration. More connected lighting developments expected as soon as next week.

As LED technology launches the lighting industry on a convergence course — some might say a collision course — with the information technology and energy industries, large companies from those sectors including Philips, Cisco, and Dutch utility Alliander have joined forces on an outdoor smart lighting project in Amsterdam, with similar projects likely to follow.

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The threesome teamed with a private-public group called Amsterdam Smart City, Dutch telecoms giant KPN, and others to install a connected lighting scheme and public Wi-Fi at Hoekenrodeplein, a large modern square with shops, hotels, and music that’s near Amsterdam Arena — the city’s main soccer (football) stadium and mega concert venue.

Philips, Cisco, and Dutch utility Alliander have joined forces on an outdoor smart lighting project in Amsterdam, with similar projects likely to follow. (Photo credit: Karres+brands.)

They officially switched on Hoekenrodeplein earlier this month, ahead of a Cisco customer and partner gathering in Berlin next week where Cisco and Philips are expected to reveal more details of their connected lighting plans such as the partnership they announced in December.

Cisco, Philips, utility Alliander, and Eindhoven University of Technology’s Intelligent Lighting Institute began co-developing urban smart lighting schemes in October 2012 in an initiative called Smart Lights in Metropolitan Areas, targeted at the Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Eindhoven.

The Hoekenrodeplein installation in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost (southeast) district is a product of that collaboration, and represents a sprucing up of the zone’s entertainment area and an effort “to meet the request of the City District to turn the Hoekenrodeplein into a safe and pleasant place to live and use,” Amsterdam Smart City said on its website.

Smart lighting embeds sensors into luminaires and lighting fixtures/accessories such as lamp posts to note everything from crowds, traffic, parking conditions, air quality, and much more, and to feed that information to systems and users who could benefit. (Photo credit: Karres+brands.)

“The square is completely rebuilt,” it noted. “Different applications have been realized...like adaptive lighting, cameras and a public Wifi network. The streetlights can be adapted from a distance or can be automatically adapted through sensors. This can be adjusted to different circumstances, for example to a different atmosphere, to a type of event or to the weather.”

Amsterdam Smart City did not say exactly what role Alliander is playing but noted, “In the future the system will dim the lights and more energy will be saved. This energy can be used for the supply of a Wifi network or to measure the air quality. The next step is to further expand these smart street lights to the Arena Boulevard and in the whole area surrounding it. Also different opportunities to communicate for visitors, the catering industry and retailers will be added in the future. This initiative serves as a base for other projects in Amsterdam on a bigger scale.”

Intelligent lighting taps wired and wireless information technology networks to allow users to remotely and dynamically change lighting brightness, colors, and the like. It also embeds sensors into luminaires and lighting fixtures/accessories such as lamp posts to note everything from crowds, traffic, parking conditions, air quality, and much more, and to feed that information to systems and users who could benefit from it.

According to Innovation Arena, a group that promotes progressive designs in the Arena area, the Hoekenrodeplein smart lighting allows the district to use lighting to deter soccer hooligans.

“Angry football fans making a ruckus on the square will be faced with ultra bright lights, making them more visible to the police and surrounding cameras,” it said on its website.

The Dutch project provides an early example of how the lighting industry and the IT and energy worlds are trying to cooperate on intelligent lighting. What’s not clear is how the different parties will work out business terms and “go to market” arrangements between them. Some industry observers believe that ultimately IT circles, rather than traditional lighting companies, will drive the modern lighting industry.

LEDs Magazine expects more smart lighting announcements at the Cisco Live event in Berlin next week, and will be there to report on them.

*Updated 2:30PM Eastern for clarification.

MARK HALPERis a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist (markhalper@aol.com).

*Updated July 21, 2017 for photo credits.

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