Smart city projects will gain new momentum in 2020 as more municipal government leaders adopt new technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine (M2M) communications.

Street lighting is the area where adoption is noteworthy. According to the latest worldwide market study by Berg Insight, the installed base of smart street lights was 10.4 million worldwide at the end of 2018.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.5 percent, the installed base will reach 31.2 million in 2023.

Smart city market development

Global market leadership continues to evolve as new projects are launched. Europe is the leading smart street lighting market accounting for nearly 40% of the installed base.

Characterised by a higher degree of utility ownership of street lighting assets, the North American market has seen a more scattered uptake of smart street lighting but is nevertheless home to several of the world’s largest deployments.

North America accounted for around 30% of the global installed base in 2018. The Rest of World accounted for 31% of the global installed base in 2018 and the Chinese market constitutes a large part of these installations.

The world’s leading smart street lighting vendor is UK-based Telensa which accounted for 14.4% of the global installed base of connected endpoints in the third quarter of 2019.

Included in the top three are also Signify and Sensus, of which the latter became a top player within the market in 2017 through its acquisition of the major smart street lighting vendor SELC.

Together, these three vendors account for a third of the global installed base of individually controlled smart street lights. US-based Itron is also a leading player in the networking segment, having acquired Silver Spring Networks in 2018.

Other important smart street lighting vendors include Rongwen Energy Technology Group from China; CIMCON Lighting, Acuity Brands, Current, LED Roadway Lighting and DimOnOff from North America; Lucy Zodion and SSE from the UK; Reverberi Enetec from Italy; Flashnet from Romania and Telematics Wireless from Israel.

“While various proprietary RF mesh or star networks today account for the majority of smart street lighting installations, the adoption of LPWA technologies such as NB-IoT and LoRa is now growing fast, particularly in the European and Asian markets,” said Levi Ostling, IoT analyst at Berg Insight .

Outlook for smart lighting deployment growth

In line with this development, the smart street lighting market is currently undergoing significant transformation and is now entering a new era of competition where the success of vendors will be determined by their ability to establish themselves as competitive providers of communications and management platforms for smart city devices.

“Finding new ways to monetise data from a variety of smart city sensors and devices will be essential for smart street lighting vendors in the next couple of years to avoid becoming mere vendors of commoditised hardware”, concluded Ostling.

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