Essex installs 'world's biggest' wireless streetlight control system

The streets of Essex have been equipped with what might be the world’s largest wireless streetlighting control system.

125,000 streetlights in Essex have been linked up to the system, which detects faults and allows for centralised switching.

Essex-based company Telensa was awarded the £6.6m contract for the installation in 2011. The company claims that the system is the world’s largest, with ‘more lights connected to their system than Los Angeles.’

The council expects to reduce the energy cost of streetlighting by around £1.3 million per year and to cut carbon emissions by over 8,000 tons each year.

The system comprises control and monitoring nodes (telecells) fitted to street lights which then connect wirelessly to a base station and onto a central system server. Each base station can accommodate up to 10,000 telecells over a range of one to two miles in urban areas, and three to five miles in rural areas. Wide area coverage is then achieved by linking these base stations in a cellular architecture creating networks of several hundred thousand lights across hundreds of square miles.

Essex County councillor Rodney Bass, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: ‘The new system will ensure that we manage the 125,000 street lights more efficiently and effectively to improve service levels, while reducing energy costs and helping meet our carbon reduction targets.’

Pictured: Will Gibson, director of Telensa, with councillor Rodney Bass.