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The latest in street lighting

At this year's Street Lighting Forum in Stockholm, topics included Smart City solutions, new forms of collaboration and the importance of adopting a long-term approach to new technology. ÅF Lighting's Ronnie Eriksson, who moderated the event, shares some of the latest insights.

In your opinion, what were some of the key topics at the conference?

We had many interesting discussions concerning Smart Cities and what we imagine street lighting might look like in the future. There are many “smart” solutions already, but it's only when we combine them that we can achieve highly useful, efficient and future proof solutions.

Another important topic was how we can cooperate more efficiently across professions and departments, to increase our impact when presenting lighting solutions to politicians. The more of us who support a proposal for a new solution, the greater the chances that politicians dare to invest in it. As for luminaire technology, we agreed that simple features that actually work are preferable to advanced systems that risk remaining unused.

What should we keep in mind as we enter a more technically advanced future?

It’s important to realise that lighting design and technology has developed massively in recent years. Today, luminaires are a great deal more sustainable, energy efficient and capable than they used to be even a couple of years ago. With that said, you cannot install a fixture and expect it to work for 30 years without maintaining it. We must adopt a long-term approach to lighting; we need to convince clients to include a maintenance budget adapted to the new technology in their road lighting tenders, and calculate costs based on a life-cycle cost perspective. It would be a step in the right direction to start taking "total cost of ownership" into account, which could mean comparing installation costs per kilometre over its lifetime, instead of mere investment costs.

This is the second time you moderated the Street Lighting Forum. How do you think it went?

I think it was very successful! More attended than ever before and I’m sure the event will keep growing. It is exciting and important to bring together people of different backgrounds; it results in exciting discussions and the sharing of information between professions. My tasks included setting the programme and ensuring that it had a good balance of inspiration, facts and discussions, and I think we managed that very well.

The conference took place in Stockholm 12-13 of September, 2017.

Learn more about the event here: