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Columbus, Ohio, to Consider Smart Lighting Pilot Project

The city council is poised to approve a contract to replace thousands of high-pressure sodium lights in the Linden neighborhood with more efficient, smart LEDs. The project is expected to cost the city up to $892,250.

A row of streetlights at dusk
Shutterstock/Take Photo
(TNS) — Thousands of energy-saving LED streetlights would be installed in Linden under a contract that is among the items expected to come before the Columbus City Council for approval at a meeting Monday evening.

The city Public Utilities Department proposes to enter into a construction contract with Complete General Construction Company, of the Near East Side. The SMART Lighting Pilot project is expected to cost the city up to $892,250 from the city Division of Power, according to the agenda for the meeting.
 
The pilot phase of the project will replace approximately 2,500 existing high-pressure sodium lights with LED lights in the Linden neighborhood, according to the ordinance. The city's Division of Power also is negotiating a contract with a smart lighting control system vendor who will install "Smart Lighting nodes" onto the LED lights after they are installed. The division is currently in negotiations for the nodes, which connect to the Internet.
 
While that will allow remote monitoring and control of the lights themselves, it will also offer the ability for other yet unspecified "smart infrastructure" capabilities in the future, said Councilman Rob Dorans, chairman of the Public Utilities Committee. "They will have a photocell that will operate the light, but with the communication network they will also work to notify the Division of an outage," said George Zonders, spokesman for the city Department of Public Utilities. "Additionally, we will be able to control individual lights with the central control system, meaning we could turn lights on or off from the office."
 
Smart streetlight systems provide money-saving efficiencies, allowing cities to control and keep track of electric power consumption and add various smart sensor nodes that provide communication, according to industry websites. Depending on the smart nodes used, streetlights could be dimmed if the moon is bright or the lights could be brightened in bad weather such as rain.
 
In addition, certain smart street lamp nodes allow for the connection of cameras that can monitor streets and sidewalks, industry websites indicate.
 
In other business, the council is expected to vote on an ordinance authorizing the Franklin County Municipal Court to modify and extend the contract with the Greater Columbus Convention Center for an additional three months and $337,000.00.
 
"This additional time and funding is necessary to continue to house the high volume dockets at the (Convention Center) in order to mitigate the health and safety risks associated with the resumption of hearing cases that have been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 emergency," the ordinance says.
 
The Municipal Courts began renting space at the center last June for amount that works to about $110,000 a month, much of subsidized by federal emergency COVID funds to cities in 2020, but which switched over to city general fund money in 2021. The council approved a three-month extension in December which expires at the end of this month, while the latest extension is through July 2.
 
©2021 The Columbus Dispatch, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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