Los Angeles was the first big city to switch to LED bulbs in its 141,000-plus streetlights, which has already made its mark on the way that LA is captured on film, turning the city's warm orange glow into a more illuminating white buzz. But the changes won't stop there. LA's now upgrading its new, more efficient lighting system even further by implementing a program called CityTouch from lighting company Philips. The program will hook up the city's LEDs to a single hub and allow the city to control those bulbs like never before. Through CityTouch, LA can remotely dim or turn up lights, plus check the status of each one via real-time maps and charts.
A release from Philips notes that it dovetails with Mayor Garcetti's pedestrian-oriented Great Streets initiative in that it will mean quicker repairs for broken lights and could bring brighter lights to areas where improvements have been made, in order to draw people out onto the sidewalks and plazas.
CityTouch is the first program of its kind that will work with any LED, regardless of who manufactures it, including the ones the city's already installed. The Philips tech uses a chip embedded in the light fixtures to link each light up to a connector node, and whatever bulb is in the socket joins the network.
The impact of streetlights might not be immediately clear, but, as Gizmodo points out, the arrival of the bright white output of the new LEDs coincided with a more than 10 percent reduction in crimes like car theft, vandalism, and robberies—a drop the city says is a result of the switch.
· LA's New LED Streetlights are Changing the Way Movies Look [Curbed LA]
· LA's Street Lights Can Now Be Dimmed and Controlled Like Phillips Hue [Gizmodo]