National summit showcases major energy efficient lighting plans

Over 40 councils, energy providers, road authorities, contractors & designers from across Australia gathered in Melbourne last week at the Australian Smart Lighting Summit to discuss strategies and new technology for public lighting retrofits aimed at reducing energy consumption and costs.

The national event hosted annually by City of Melbourne saw over 200 lighting industry experts and sustainability consultants meet for a concentrated program of presentations, panel and roundtable discussions to showcase the progress of street lighting roll-out projects and highlight some of the barriers being faced in achieving faster results.

Over 60 Australian councils including Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart are currently in the rollout process or have completed bulk lighting changeovers, with over 148,000 lights upgraded so far.

Municipal Association of Victoria and Ironbark Sustainability have partnered to help Victorian councils deliver a bulk transition of over 232,000 street lights to energy efficient alternatives, which when completed is expected to have a cumulative saving of $431 million through reduced electricity and maintenance use. This sits behind New York as the second largest street lighting project in the world.

George Angelis, Manager of Infrastructure and Traffic Operations at City of Sydney presented the city’s LED retrofit success, while Martin Valentine of Abu Dhabi Municipality gave an international perspective on public realm lighting strategy and smart lighting technology.

A large focus of the discussion at this years’ conference was on outdoor lighting control with a panel session of experts including Rob Evans of Organic Response shedding light on the maturity of the control technology and a need for a greater understanding of its importance within current lighting projects.

“As outdoor and street lighting are large power consumers, then they need to be controlled. The added bonus is the smart sensors that control lights based on human presence can provide information for the control of other devices and allow cities to be smarter, not just lighting systems”, said Evans.

Lighting technology suppliers including Philips, Gerard Professional Solutions, OrangeTek, LEDified and Silver Spring Networks were amongst the sponsors showcasing latest solutions at the event in the boutique exhibition, which allowed delegates to consider a range of products that may be suitable for use within their parks and streets.

“The topics that I found particularly relevant and engaging are the lighting strategies of Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, as the City of Perth is presently engaged in producing a strategy. Also very relevant and interesting was the street lighting controls which was very well presented. I look forward to next year’s conference where I’m hoping a similar program will be presented” commented by Michael Murphy, Principal Urban Designer, City of Perth.

The event was organised by Expotrade Global who delivers some of the largest B2B industry conferences and events in the infrastructure, IT, sustainability, energy and construction sectors.

“It’s a very important platform for Australia’s lighting industry with local government representatives, contractors, consultants and manufacturers meeting to discuss regulations and strategies to achieving the target of replacing over 2.3 million lights across Australia. We look forward to seeing what progress has been made this time next year”, says Charlene Corrin, Conference Producer at Expotrade Global.

The 3rd Annual Australian Smart Lighting Summit will be held next year at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 8-9 September 2015.

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