These Smart Street Lights Don't Use Their Own Brains to Adjust to the Weather - Energy Watch News

These Smart Street Lights Don’t Use Their Own Brains to Adjust to the Weather

A Minneapolis suburb that is trialing tunable-white LED street lights has now equipped them to automatically adjust brightness and color temperatures based on weather conditions. So that must mean the town added sensors that can help detect rain, fog, clouds, dust, and the like, right? Wrong! While the lights at White Bear Lake contain other types of sensors such as photocells that note daylight and darkness, they do not house a single chip dedicated to weather detection or forecasting. Rather, controls company Echelon Corp. feeds the lights with weather information provided by partner IBM, the computer giant that in 2015 acquired a large chunk of The Weather Company in an important buttressing of IBM’s Watson Internet of Things (IoT) strategy. The lights know that a blizzard is raging not because any onboard circuits have directly detected it, but because the IBM Watson system has informed them. Once notified, the Echelon Lumewave system takes appropriate action. According to Echelon, the town can pre-program the lights to, for instance, deliver brighter and warmer colors during a snowstorm in order to minimize glare. Or they can deliver bluer colors during a thunderstorm to enhance visibility and alertness.

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