Connecting Technologies: The Future of Smart Lighting

Nicolas Brettes
Nicolas Brettes
Business Development Manager - Comatelec Schréder

Smart lighting is not just about lighting, it is about creating safer, more efficient and sustainable urban environments. Solutions where street lights are controlled by a Central Management System (CMS), such as Schréder EXEDRA, offer an unprecedented level of control, enabling energy savings, better asset management, and automated dimming profiles to adjust lighting levels.

As a smart lighting expert at Comatelec Schréder, I am passionate about using technology to improve the lighting infrastructure of our cities. Customers are drawn to CMS solutions for a variety of reasons – they might be looking to save energy, streamline operations, or simplify maintenance. They can go one step further by choosing adaptive lighting, which is adjusted in real time by Schréder EXEDRA LightSync - without any additional investment or hardware, thanks to the innovative use of virtual sensors.

A Journey Towards Intelligent Lighting Excellence

At Schréder, we can integrate Zhaga and NEMA network solutions into the robust framework of the Schréder EXEDRA control platform, which offers easy scheduling, dimming and automation. We believe in total flexibility for the customer, so the system is interoperable with third-party IoT solutions. This capability enriches our database, in particular with Schréder EXEDRA LightSync, our automated adaptive lighting solution, which is proving its value in large road applications.

Schréder EXEDRA LightSync uses real-time data to continuously adjust lighting levels based on local traffic and weather conditions. It uses georeferencing to collect environmental data, virtual sensors to gather traffic data and then calculates the appropriate lighting levels. The system retrieves updated data up to every 15 minutes, ensuring a rapid response to changes in the environment. If data is not available, the lighting level reverts to the pre-defined control programme until data becomes available.

I am a firm believer in the power of automation, and want our customers to take full advantage of the system's capabilities. Automated lighting offers significant benefits, so for those already using Schréder EXEDRA, we can set up LightSync in demo mode for a free trial period. This hands-on experience, backed up by concrete data collected over a significant period of time, shows customers the value of the solution, not in abstract terms, but for their very own street lighting infrastructure.

Sparkling Peaks and Safer Roads

Sion, the historic capital of the Swiss canton of Valais, is a strategic gateway to some of the world's most famous ski resorts such as Crans Montana, Saas-Fee and Zermatt. Road safety is a priority for the local authorities and drivers need perfect visibility after dark, especially during the popular ski season - without making it too bright at other times.

Schréder EXEDRA LightSync provides adaptive lighting in Sion so the authorities can ensure safety on roads and save energy

The local authorities, together with the local street lighting operator OIKEN, had already implemented Schréder EXEDRA on all their existing assets, which included third-party luminaires as well as Schréder classics. In 2023, they decided to upgrade their services with LightSync. The installation was as smooth as downhill run on fresh powder: because the system uses virtual sensors, there is no need to waste time and money installing hardware or closing roads.

They deployed the LightSync algorithm with the EXEDRA lighting control system, eliminating the need for conventional sensors. Initial tests on a short stretch of road showed promising results, leading to a wider deployment on main roads; OIKEN is now looking at using LightSync in the 26 municipalities where it manages street lighting.

The LightSync Advantage 

Schréder EXEDRA LightSync is remarkably easy to implement. It requires no initial investment, no technical complexity for the customer and no risk, thanks to features such as demo mode and virtual sensors. You can test, adjust, retest and validate without the high costs traditionally associated with dynamic lighting using physical sensors. 

No on-site commissioning is required, making it a very flexible solution for refining and adjusting to get the best result. Its automatic traffic and weather event management ensures that no manual intervention is required, providing the perfect balance between user safety and energy savings.

Schréder EXEDRA LightSync offers a major advance in energy efficiency without compromising the quality of service. Meeting local service standards with a fixed dimming profile can waste energy at certain times during the year; adaptive lighting provides the right light at the right time, all year round. This is truly smart lighting.

Tailoring solutions to different needs

Understanding the perspectives of the various stakeholders involved in a project is at the heart of what we do at Schréder. Lighting engineers focus on energy savings, urban planners on compliance and maintenance teams on the ease of maintaining high performance lighting. We share their core mission: better lighting, lower emissions. Schréder EXEDRA LightSync has the potential to exceed everyone’s expectations.  

By integrating weather data to improve safety, Schréder EXEDRA LightSync has the potential to increase safety in areas where accidents are more likely to occur. Looking to the future, we believe that other technologies could be integrated to further protect biodiversity and play with various parameters other than light intensity. 

Truly smart lighting focuses on connecting technologies to create not only brighter, but also more pleasant and more responsive urban spaces. I am proud of my team and love to show customers how Schréder EXEDRA LightSync is a low effort, high reward way to light their city in a safe, efficient and sustainable way. 

About the writer
With a background in electromechanics and a passion for technology that makes people’s lives easier, Nicolas joined Comatelec Schréder in 2016, when control systems were gaining ground. Over the years, he has taken a very hands-on approach, working with many customers to create safe, energy-efficient and attractive spaces, with a focus on achieving the best outcome for all stakeholders.

Connect with Nicolas on LinkedIn.