Westminster Council has announced that, following a successful pilot scheme, it will give all 14,000 of its street lights brains over the next four years. The smart bulbs will work in a similar way to the Philips Hue range, in that they can be controlled remotely via an engineers iPad.
The scheme also means that the council will be able to change light levels electronically, and will be notified when a lightbulb nears the end of its lifespan or has failed. The operation has been priced at £3.25m, though after just seven years it should begin profiting the tax payer — or so says cabinet member for city management, Cllr Ed Argar:
“…it also will reduce our energy bill by nearly £1million every two years. A huge saving that we can pass onto the taxpayer.”
Turning street lights off entirely is never really a viable option in a 24-hour council like Westminster. Lets hope the new electronic iterations are both idiot and hack proof — imagine a city-wide impromptu disco, thanks to some enterprising hacker. Wait, what am I saying? That’d be awesome. [West London Today via TNW]
Image credit: London by night from Shutterstock