CIMCON Lighting – Smart Street Lights and Smart City Platforms

CIMCON Lighting is one of the most trusted advisors in the utility space. The company leverages its extensive knowledge and infrastructure to deploy smart lighting capabilities. CIMCON’s ingenuity and drive to the best services have helped more than 200 cities, and more than a dozen utilities in 30 countries, achieve their smart city, and smart lighting goals.

Its platforms are user-friendly, and fixture, device, and network agnostic, thereby satisfying the unique needs of any utility or city. Its vision, as stated by Swap Shah, the CEO, is, “We’re focused on shaping the future of smart cities by helping them become smarter, safer, and more sustainable.

Asset management, aging infrastructure, customer satisfaction, revenue generation, and energy efficiency, are some of the key trends that are dictating the decisions of utility tech companies; and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

With its smart lighting controls and innovative NearSky platform, CIMCON helps utilities effectively address these challenges, and also prepare themselves for the future. In addition to the energy savings offered through LEDs, its smart lighting controls offer an additional 30% savings.

The solutions coalesce the benefits of intelligent controls, smart sensors, and wireless connectivity, with roadway lighting infrastructure. The controls provide an ideal ‘on-ramp’ for connecting streetlights and making them ‘smart’ with a multi-service platform that drives energy efficiency, sustainability, and reduction in both operating and maintenance costs.

The most important aspect of these lighting solutions is their asset management capabilities, which enable utilities to seamlessly track and manage the health of streetlights. With CIMCON’s range of smart controls, utilities need not depend on customer complaints to fix an outage.

Instead, they can easily monitor the fixture’s health status and replace it before it reaches its end of life, or, in the event of a premature outage, the company will receive a text or email notification about the specific issue. Therefore, a typical three-trip repair is reduced to one and this results in significant cost savings.

The NearSky Smart City Platform is at the core of CIMCON’s solutions, and it simplifies the deployments of cameras, sensors, and other devices so that utilities can help build a digital, data-driven city.

The platform includes the NearSky 360 Edge Processing Hub, and StreetVibe – a cloud-based visualization software. The former collects data from multiple sensors into one place, before transferring it to the cloud, and ultimately to StreetVibe.

The NearSky platform gives access to power from the streetlight pole, enabling the utility to provide cities and towns with smart city applications, like air quality monitoring, pedestrian counting, noise, and gunshot detection, or traffic monitoring, to name a few.

By easily providing access to power, it makes the street lighting network more valuable and eliminates several logistical and cost obstacles. In addition, when a utility is repairing, it can also check up on, and view nearby fixtures, using CIMCON’s LightingGale CMS (Central Management Software).

In the event of any issue, the utility can repair or replace them during the same truck roll, further reducing costs, and improving customer satisfaction. The LightingGale platform not only maximizes public safety but provides insights into any problem, thus reducing the need for night patrols or the sending of repair personnel to diagnose problems.

CIMCON’s NB-IoT nodes equip utilities to implement streetlight controls even in locations where direct communication via a wireless gateway isn’t available. Instead, they can utilize a hybrid network consisting of a cellular connection along with its Zigbee mesh controls to communicate information to the CMS.

When working with utilities, CIMCON takes a consultative approach, serving as a trusted advisor. As stated by Mr. Swap Shah, “We begin by first identifying what a utility’s strategic goals are, then move to identify the network scenarios and solutions that are most appropriate for them to future proof their investment, protect their AMI revenue-generating activities and support their customers’ desire to move forward in the smart city journey.  From there, we introduce the appropriate CIMCON solutions.”

Right from ordering, to installation and training, the Customer Success team works hand-in-hand with utilities, as a strategic partner, and not a mere vendor selling products.

Based on its modeling, CIMCON identified that for every 10,000 streetlight poles, there is nearly $75 million in savings, or revenue growth potential, over ten years from the application. In 2021, CIMCON either helped or is in the process of helping more than 10 reputed North American utilities overcome the hurdles of shifting from a legacy streetlight infrastructure to one that will reduce costs.

In the future, CIMCON will continue helping utilities move along the smart lighting maturity curve while defending them from the ‘death spiral’ of aging legacy infrastructure.  Overall, CIMCON guides utilities in their efforts to become more customer-centric, hence expanding their possibilities.