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Bloemfontein opts for smart lighting from Echelon and MAT

Bloemfontein opts for smart lighting from Echelon and MAT

Bloemfontein embarked on smart city initiative to install 18,000 luminaires to upgrade its streetlight infrastructure over next three years.

Echelon, a control networking company for industrial Internet of Things, announced the deployment of its smart streetlight system by the city of Bloemfontein, one of South Africa’s largest cities. Installed by Echelon’s partner MAT, a system supplier and Internet of Things solution provider, the solution integrates Echelon’s SmartServer, PL Smart Transceivers and control router, with MAT’s luminaire controllers and Smart Energy Management System. The streetlight infrastructure improves safety, decreases maintenance costs and reduces energy consumption by 30%.

Bloemfontein is the seat for the Supreme Court of Appeal and is therefore generally regarded as the judicial capital of South Africa. The city hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup matches and is home to other high-profile soccer, rugby and motor sports events. Aside from being a major sporting venue, it is the centre for casinos, private hospitals and educational institutions.

Because of the various walks of life of the people that live, work and visit Bloemfontein, the city’s needs can change on a daily basis. For example, there may be a big soccer tournament one day, or hospitals may be busier than usual another day.

Bloemfontein city managers recognised the importance of deploying a flexible infrastructure that would allow them to adapt to the specific needs of the city at any given time. With many residents and visitors relying on the city’s outdoor lighting, Bloemfontein embarked on a smart city initiative to install 18,000 luminaires to upgrade its streetlight infrastructure over the next three years.

In the first phase completed earlier this year, 3,000 luminaries were installed. Once the installation is fully operable, the new lighting system is projected to provide a return on investment in as little as five years.

“Bloemfontein is home to many students, tourists, athletes and healthcare and business professionals who require the safety and reliability of state-of-the-art street lighting,” said Dennis Baik, Overseas Sales Manager, MAT. “One of the reasons city officials selected our integrated solution, was so they could efficiently troubleshoot and address lamp malfunctions before any issues emerged. As a result, they can better protect the people that traverse the city, and create an opportunity to attract even more business and tourism.”

The new smart streetlight system is powered by MAT’s Luxmatic with its Smart Energy Management System and Echelon’s SmartServer. Luxmatic is a smart street lighting control system that lets engineers easily control brightness, measure energy consumption and monitor the status of each individual lamp in real-time. The SmartServer is a versatile controller and router that connects control devices to IP-based applications such as building automation, enterprise energy management, demand response programmes, and high-value remote asset management programmes.

Additional products included in the system are MAT’s CDM light, electronic ballast and luminaire controller, as well as Echelon’s PL 3120 chip and CRD 3000 control router.

“Innovations in technology have evolved outdoor lighting systems from providing a basic function to a means for reducing energy consumption, improving safety and serving as the catalyst for adopting a range of Internet of Things applications,” said Rick Schuett, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales, Echelon. “Bloemfontein city managers will recognise the long-term benefits of an intelligent, adaptive solution that can serve as the foundation for a smart city on which they can continue to build for years to come.”

Bloemfontein officials have recognised the smart lighting system’s rewards. However, they also look forward to the long-term benefits due to the system’s inherent flexibility, controllability and high levels of efficiency that enable rapidly evolving innovations in intelligent outdoor lighting.

MAT provides the most suitable and optimised sub-metering systems and lighting control systems with effective energy saving solutions for residential and industrial-based customers. The solution is built on its communication embedded system and software developed during the company’s 24-year experience as an IoT Solution Provider.

Echelon is developing open-standard control networking platforms, delivers elements necessary to design, install, monitor and control industrial-strength communities of devices within lighting, building automation, Internet of Things and related markets worldwide. Echelon sells its lighting products under the Lumewave by Echelon brand and its building automation and other IIoT-related products as part of its IzoT platform.


Components from Echelon

  • Echelon SmartServer
  • PL Smart Transceivers
  • PL 3120 chip
  • CRD 3000 control router
  • Control router
  • Lumewave by Echelon
  • IzoT platform

Components from MAT

  • Luminaire controllers
  • Smart Energy Management System