Funded by the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation grant program, the Smart Lights for Smart Cities initiative installed more than 5,700 street lights in 25 metropolitan area communities. The initiative targeted smaller communities with populations less than 35,000.

Many cities and counties in the Kansas City metropolitan area use inefficient mercury and high-pressure sodium street lighting. Smart Lights test program showcased different technologies, primarily Light-Emitting Diode (LED) street lighting, and vendors demonstrating the benefits of changing to another lighting system first-hand.

Utilities want to know whether high-efficiency streetlights are a promising long-term technology. Municipalities want to be sure that the energy savings and costs LEDs can provide are sustainable enough to not only compensate for start-up costs, but also that they add value to public safety or the community character.

Municipalities can reduce energy consumption, cost, and maintenance, improve citizen vehicle compliance and increase violation capture and city revenue, enhance situational awareness, real-time collaboration, and decision making across city agencies, add intelligent Internet of Everything (IoE) innovations to transportation, utilities, public safety, and environmental monitoring without adding significantly more physical infrastructure.