Illuminated residential area in St. Gallen

Decision made for sustainable street lighting Successful introduction of smart lighting in St. Gallen

What municipality would not be thrilled to conserve resources and save costs at the same time, all while maintaining the same quality of life? Among other promising approaches to transforming into a smart city, St. Gallen tackled the digitalization of street lighting.
In a proof-of-concept project with Phoenix Contact, managers are tackling the issue of increasing the efficiency of municipal lighting. With the integration of an intelligent lighting control system and supported by LoRaWAN communication technology, the illumination of a residential area has now been adapted to the actual demand.

St. Gallen Stadtwerke municipal utility company building

The St. Gallen Stadtwerke municipal utility company is pushing ahead with the modernization of the city’s street lighting.

Customer profile St. Gallen is one of the leading cities in Switzerland that is transforming itself into a smart city

  • The main city of St. Gallen is the cultural and economic center of the canton of the same name in eastern Switzerland, with a population of 80,000.

  • As part of the Energy Concept 2050, the city of St. Gallen formulated more than 150 measures to sustainably improve the quality of life of citizens and the community, respectively.

  • From looking at new smart city concepts through different technologies all the way to building smart neighborhoods, leaders are tackling digitalization in numerous areas of life.

  • The city of St. Gallen operates its own nationwide LoRaWAN network.

Application Digitalization of street lighting and development into a smart city

The light masts in St. Gallen had already been converted from classic lamps to modern, energy-saving LED technology a few years ago. However, energy costs for municipal lighting were to be further reduced. The forward-thinking approach was to provide dimmable, sustainable lighting while still ensuring good visibility and safety on the road.

Those responsible became aware of the intelligent street lighting solution from Phoenix Contact while looking into this subject. The innovative lighting management portfolio enables switching, light intensity control, and remote monitoring of multiple lights simultaneously.

Street light in a residential area in St. Gallen

The city of St. Gallen decided upon the future-proof solution for intelligent street lighting.

Solution Comprehensive lighting management portfolio for intelligent street lighting

LoRaWAN gateway transmits in a street lighting application
LED street lighting in St. Gallen
Laptop with Smart Lighting Service software application open
System topology of a LoRaWAN-based lighting solution
LoRaWAN gateway transmits in a street lighting application

On the way to becoming a smart city, St. Gallen economically modernized the outdated and inefficient lighting control technology using the established LoRaWAN wireless and IoT technology.

The project uses LoRaWAN-enabled control units and gateways. By networking the control devices in the LoRaWAN network, the existing lights are made smarter and integrated into the world of the Internet of Things.

LED street lighting in St. Gallen

When installing the LED light sources, a standard was decided upon regarding the interface specification. The Zhaga standard is now used here, so that in the future LED lights can be selected independently of the manufacturer and guaranteed interoperability can be ensured.

Control units with Zhaga sockets from the Phoenix Contact portfolio were used to ensure easy connection to the light heads.

Laptop with Smart Lighting Service software application open

Several street lights were integrated into the Smart Lighting Service in order to implement simultaneous dimming via group command as part of the proof-of-concept project.

The software application enables the St. Gallen Stadtwerke municipal utility company to manage and maintain as well as dim and monitor the street lights remotely – at any time and from anywhere through access via the web portal.

System topology of a LoRaWAN-based lighting solution

The server structure is comprised of a LoRaWAN server and an application server. The LoRaWAN server allows the integrated LoRaWAN devices to be managed and monitored and also collects their device data. The data is forwarded to an application server in processable form.

Phoenix Contact provides services for integrating both alternatives here. In the application server area, the Smart Lighting Service is made available to the operator as software.

Summary Open and simple integrated lighting solution

The decision to install intelligent street lighting saves St. Gallen maintenance and energy costs, conserves resources, and reduces light emissions.

With the innovative light management system in the LoRaWAN network, the street lights emit only as much light as necessary, based on demand. Management via the company’s own web service access is now much more efficient. The municipal utilities always have information on the state of the lights in view.

And what is generally true for the future of smart cities was also shown to be important in this project: the open system architecture of the solution.

Finding a solution together
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Illuminated cityscape in the dark