Many cities and counties are striving to become more energy efficient. Funding the improvements needed to make your infrastructure use less energy and thereby reduce the operating costs, has been a challenge for many agencies.
One of our customers just told us about an interesting solution. I want to share it with you for two reasons. First of all, there are stimulus dollars available to implement it, and second, it will help your community become more energy efficient and save money.
I am talking about a comprehensive street lights inventory system.
Such an application can benefit your agency in several ways:
- you will reduce the cost of maintenance
- you will become more energy efficient and safe money on electricity
- you end up with a database management system that you can use for other applications
- and you may be able to attract more stimulus money.
The Federal Government awards stimulus grants to make public agencies more energy efficient and set a good example for the general public to replace old, inefficient appliances.
When it comes to street lights the objective is to replace the existing lights with high efficiency bulbs, that use less electricity and last longer.
Before you can go about replacing the lights, however, you need to know which types of street lights you currently have, how many and where they are located. This means you need an inventory of your street light assets. You need such as the pole location, pole number, light fixture type, lamp type, lamp wattage, voltage, clearance above the road and more.
Your city or county has probably thousands or even tens of thousands of lights all over the community. A manual inventory would be extremely cumbersome and time consuming.
What’s your alternative?
A mobile mapping inventory solutions using digital cameras and LIDAR technology. These systems are incredibly efficient. By simply driving your roadways you get a comprehensive inventory of your street lights, including their locations, dimensions, types of lamps, heights of poles, lengths of the pole arm and much more.
The LIDAR sensor scans your street right-of-way and captures millions of points. Each point has an exact 3D location in space. After some post processing these “point clouds” are viewed in a GIS or CAD system. Now you can measure a spatial distance between any 2 points, grab the geographic coordinates of the foot of the pole as well as the clearance of the light arm above the road surface.
The accuracy of LIDAR point clouds is better than half an inch.
Once captured you can use them for many other asset management applications, including pavement condition surveys, sign inventories, and even right-of-way planning.
You can learn more about how to use mobile mapping system for data collection in our demo section. If you have any specific questions about street light inventories, how much they would cost and how to find sources of funding, please give us a call.