There are many organisations you can call if you want to talk about smart lighting and smart cities. But if you’re ready to move from talk to action, call Ironbark and we’ll talk you through how to get it done, the pitfalls along the way and the extraordinary opportunities at your fingertips.
For Australian councils, street lighting is the first place to start when tackling corporate emissions, with anywhere from 40-70% of a council’s emissions and energy use coming from street lighting. That’s why we focus heavily on this area, our mission is to help councils and their communities and real action on street lighting delivers this in spades.
Technology moves and technology changes and now you can’t talk about street lighting without talking about smart lighting and smart cities. There is a raft of community, financial and environmental benefits from ensuring your new lights become the backbone of your smart city – call us for a chat and we’ll discuss how you can embed smarts into your next project.
Ironbark are renowned as Australia’s foremost smart lighting experts for a reason. Of the 117 councils around Australia who have completed an LED bulk changeover of their street lights, we’ve worked on 102 of them. We’re not really interested in the theoretical opportunities – instead, we can send you a list naming the 244 councils we’ve worked with in this area across a thousand odd projects and talk to you about what we’ve learnt and the best ways for you to deliver.
The Energy Efficient
Street Lighting Counter
Of the 117 councils around Australia who have completed an LED bulk changeover of their street lights, we’ve worked on 102 of them. We are proud of every single council we’ve supported and the money and effort they have gone to save over 3 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions and half a billion dollars that are being reinvested in their communities.
We’re involved from the start (developing business cases, helping councils access funding, council presentations, negotiating price and projects with DNSP and manufacturers, design and procurement) to the end of projects (project management, auditing, reporting and project closure). We’re the only organisation to be involved in the full end-to-end management of large-scale LED projects for councils in multiple states.
Minor Road Lighting
If your council has not changed your minor roads or “Pedestrian-Category” lights yet, then you’re fast becoming a minority. There is no excuse for not changing your minor road lights – every old inefficient light up on that pole is using around 5.6 times the energy of your neighbouring councils who have made the change. Every night. Across every light. It’s time to make the switch. There are no barriers we have yet to overcome to make these projects happen.
Major Road Lighting
While nearly 35% of minor road lighting has been changed to LEDs, major roads present a greater challenge because of the complexity of lighting types, design and risk. But the opportunities are enormous with smart lighting savings and community benefits aplenty. Talk to us and make it happen.
Smart Lighting Roll-Outs
Every LED project we’ve been involved in for the last 3-4 years has involved the installation of smart-ready lighting, and the number of variety of smart lighting projects being piloted – and indeed completed – grows by the day. Give us a call to talk about the Australian Smart Lighting Program and how to get involved.
Plan Twice, Build Once. If you’re about to undertake a project that involves procurement and installation of assets for 20 years then you really need to make sure you’ve undertaken professional expert preparation and design. Public lighting is ubiquitous. Where there are people there are lights. Where there are people there are council residents, ratepayers and stakeholders that will keeping you accountable to make sure you’ve made the right decision. And that you planned appropriately. Design saves money and delivers better projects – don’t deliver any large-scale project without integrating the best practice design approaches.
If you’re putting in a new park, bike path, roundabout or walking track then you need to think about lighting at the planning stage. If you don’t think it through before you begin, then be prepared for extra costs of fixing lights or even replacing and digging up surrounding assets post-project. Councils have learnt that making knee-jerk decisions about lighting products and treatment that don’t gel within your surrounding aesthetic and have unintended consequences. A detailed, thorough and expert lighting design will make sure you get it right.
Lighting Level and Light Spill Assessments
Resident concerns around safety, under-lighting, over-lighting or lighting spill is part and parcel of lighting projects. If confronted with concern around lighting levels, we suggest taking an empirical approach that takes the emotion out of the decision and the advice. We’ve got lighting audit and lighting design staff who understand AS 1158 (Lighting Level Standards) and AS 4282 (Light Spill Assessments Standards) like the back of their hands using professional grade lux metres who undertake these projects throughout Australia.
Lighting Trials and Technology Approval
Smart lighting is where 3 rapidly changing technology revolutions intersect: solid-state lighting, the internet-of-things (IOT) and a transforming de-centralising energy systems. It’s a fascinating but challenging space so dipping your toes in with a trial first can assist councils in understanding what is available and valuable and help you get third party stakeholders over the line. We’re technology agnostic and as well as having the scientists in our back rooms giving you the hard data and results, Ironbark are born-and-bread local government. This means we overlay technology trials with the broader context councils need – strategically, diplomatically and politically.
As councils around Australia jump on board the smart lighting revolution and change to smart LED in the hundreds of thousands, the next very common project area is developing council-wide lighting policies and guidelines. Many councils are now thinking more strategically about how you manage and plan for the future throughout your council’s lighting. Strategies, policies and guidelines can also been integrated into a smart lighting rollout project.
Lighting Policies and Guidelines
Clear policies and guidelines are critical if you want a uniform approach to new lighting within your municipality and don’t want to have different departments or staff approaching lighting differently and in the dark. You want to capture lighting levels and asset management process in the one place so if a new council asset manager comes on board or a developer is about to install or replace lights then they have a central place outlining what’s expected with checklists and clear information on hand.
A lighting strategy doesn’t have to be too complicated but is critical as councils start their smart lighting and smart city journeys. As a starting point, the development of a policy can act as a “health check” and then check your progress towards best-practice lighting. A strategy outlines what is needed to manage your assets, how energy efficient they are, how smart and safe they are – all accompanied with an action plan on how to implement. It’s the lighting strategy and plan that may not only outline areas for improvement but also how to use light effectively to create streetscapes and landscapes appropriate to your community and area. This is the key document outlining how to move forward with smart lighting across the whole of your council.
Ironbark have been advocating for better lighting, sustainability and cost outcomes for councils and their communities since 2004: From the first ever energy efficient lights approved in Australia (in the Jemena area in 2005), to negotiating fair tariffs and new smart LEDs from South Australia to the Eastern seaboard and everywhere in between. We represent councils on the Public Lighting Approvals Network (PLAN) and review the submissions to regulators that have resulted in savings of hundreds of millions of dollars. We only work for councils, but work with all the key stakeholders and agencies that govern lighting. If you need help talking to a DNSP or other level of government give us a call.
Ironbark can check your energy, fault and other data from smart lighting systems and tell you what it means and what you need to do. Being involved in smart lighting projects throughout Australia and understanding all the key software and communications providers and protocols means we know the hints and call-signs: how to find that weird energy spike that should ring alarm bells or the patterns in faults that might result in warranty follow-ups that could save you money. And how to make sure you’re ongoing monitoring is up to scratch and DNSP-owned assets are performing and passing savings onto you.
Metered Lighting Audits
Despite the level of control that councils have over metered lights, it is still an often-neglected component of a typical council’s assets. Our advice and process with most councils involves mapping your metered lighting assets, undertaking condition assessments, capturing the unique characteristics (colour, lamp type, pole colour, luminaire type, age, a dozen more criteria) and then provide upgrade energy efficiency and smart lighting recommendations.
Street Lighting Audits
There is a time and place for auditing street lights but you’ve got to smart and strategic about it. If you’re finding high error rates and data issues then a field audit makes sense. Likewise, councils with large pockets of decoratives can benefit from a stand-alone audit project to ensure business case development and procurement decisions are made with full information.
Asset Register and Billing Reviews
Councils often put up LEDs but don’t see the savings coming through on billing data. We provide a service to remedy this utilising our data and asset nerds but more importantly leveraging our strong relationships with DNSPs to access the right data, advocate for change and restitution, and make it a smooth process. You can of course try working through this yourself – or engage other consultants with less experience to jump on the phone and spend a year getting angry with DNSP call centres talking to the wrong people for no satisfaction. It’s almost certain we’ll fix it quicker and have the savings flowing asap.