Int. J. Communications, Network and System Sciences, 2013, 6, 351-360 Published Online August 2013 (
Smart Street Lighting Control and Monitoring System for
Electrical Power Saving by Using VANET
Samir A. Elsagheer Mohamed1,2
1College of Computer, Qassim University, Buryadah, KSA
2Electrical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, Asswan University, Aswan, Egypt
Received September 15, 2012; revised January 15, 2013; accepted February 15, 2013
Copyright © 2013 Samir A. Elsagheer Mohamed. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution
License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The huge amount of electrical power of many countries is consumed in lighting the streets. However, vehicles pass with
very low rate in specific periods of time and parts of the streets are not occupied by vehicles over time. In this paper, we
propose a system that automatically switches off the light for the parts of the streets having no vehicles and turns on the
light for these parts once there are some vehicles that are going to come. Logically, this system may save a large amount
of the electrical power. In addition, it may increase the lifetime of the lamps and reduce the pollutions. This system
automatically controls and monitors the light of the streets. It can light only the parts that have vehicles and help on the
maintenance of the lighting equipments. Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANET) make it possible to propose such sys-
tem. VANET enables the possibility to know the presence of vehicles, their locations, their directions and their speeds
in real time. These quantities are what are needed to develop this system. An advantage of using VANET is that there is
no need to use specific network and equipments to design the system, but VANET infrastructure will be used. This de-
creases the cost and speed up the deployment of such system. This paper focuses on the proposal of different possible
architectures of this system. Results show that the saved energy may reach up to 65% and an increase of the lifetime of
the lamps of 53%.
Keywords: Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks; Street Lighting System; Power Saving; System Control; Monitoring
1. Introduction
One of the most important civilization indexes is the de-
velopment of a good transportation network. This includes
streets, roads and highways that have to be adequately
illuminated so that a sufficient visibility is guaranteed in
order to decrease the accident rate and increase the flow
of the vehicles and safety. However, these streets and
roads are illuminated constantly for more than 13 hours
daily. This in turn requires a huge amount of electrical
power to light all the streets and roads. About 30% of the
total electrical power of any country is consumed in light-
ing the roads and the streets [1]. The spending cost for
the energy is high. Additionally, environment pollution
by the emitted CO2 is too high (See Table 1 for the esti-
mated electricity use, cost and CO2 emissions for differ-
ent locations in the world).
We also know that for some roads, vehicles pass with
very small rate in specific periods of time. In other words,
if we divide the roads into small parts, with each part has
a length of 500 meters (the minimum visibility range),
we can find that in many roads only a very small number
of these parts have vehicles that pass through them and
the rest of the parts have no vehicles, but still consuming
electrical power. This is a dynamic problem that means
that any part of the road can be free and then shortly be
occupied then free again, etc.
That raises a natural question which is: is it possible to
automatically cut the electricity for the parts of the roads
that do not have vehicles and resume the current for these
parts once there are some vehicles that are going to come?
If this system could be implemented, it can save very
large amount of the electrical power that can be used to
develop other areas in the country. It can also increase
the lifetime of the Lamps and hence decrease the main-
tenance cost. Another benefit is to reduce the environ-
ment pollution.
Actually one reason that made it impossible to develop
such a system in the past is that the presence of vehicles
on any part of the road has to be known. In addition, it
has to be known when some vehicles are going to enter
to these parts shortly in order to decide on switching the
opyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
Table 1. Estimated electricity use, cost and CO2 emissions for different locations in the world [1].
Location Number of Residents Estimated Number
of KWh per Year
Estimated Annual Electricity
Cost for Streetlights
Estimated Annual CO2 Emissions
due to Streetlights (in tons)
US >68 million >300 billion >$18 billion >150 million
European Union >90 million >450 billion >$45.5 billion >180 million
UK 7.5 million >4 billion >$650 million >1.9 million
France 8.6 million 5.3 billion $520 million >583,000
Los Angeles 220,000 >100 million >$17 million >60,000
Paris (France) 170,000 >80 million >$10.2 million >$10.2 million
light on or off dynamically. The classical technologies
like using cameras or cables to count the vehicles in any
part are not feasible because they need very expensive
hardware and computers to analyze the images to count
the vehicles. Thus, there is a great need for developing a
system that automatically controls and monitors the light
of the streets or roads in order to light only the parts that
have vehicles. This system has to use the recent innova-
tive technologies to reduce the implementation cost and to
be accurate.
Fortunately, there is a recent technology called the
Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANET) [2-4] in which
vehicles can communicate wirelessly forming an ad-hoc
network. Furthermore, in VANET, there is Road-Side
Unites (RSUs) that are connected to an infrastructure
with a central server. There are two types of communica-
tions in VANET: Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) and Vehicle-
to-Infrastructure (V2I) via the RSU. In VANET many
promising innovative services can be developed such as
the safety and the entertainment applications. In VANET,
vehicles know at any time its location, speed, direction,
etc. They periodically broadcast these quantities to the
surrounding vehicles and RSU.
These quantities are what are needed to develop the
system that can save much electrical power. In this case,
it is possible to propose a system that automatically and
autonomously controls and monitors the light of the streets
or roads in order to light only the parts that have vehicles
based on the VANET networks. This is the scope of this
paper: to propose such system. Results show that the
proposed system can save much money and reduce the
electrical power consumption that can reach up to 70%.
The rest of this paper is organized as follows. The re-
lated works are given in Section 2. An overview of the
Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks which constitute the basis
of the proposed system is provided in Section 3. The ar-
chitecture of the proposed system, its operation, and its
evaluation are given in Section 4. An example for the
estimate of the energy saving is given in Section 5. Fi-
nally, the conclusions and the future research directions
are given in Section 6.
2. Related Works
There are several attempts to control the road lighting for
saving the energy and to reduce the pollution. In [5,6] a
road lighting intelligent control system is proposed. The
system is based on wireless network control that can
implement real-time monitoring for road lighting. The
proposed system uses the Zigbee wireless networks and
GPRS standard to monitor the status of the lamps. The
goal is to allow a central monitoring of the status of road
light terminals that are equipped with wireless controller
and electronic ballasts to be able to remotely switch on or
off the terminals. Furthermore, the system can be pro-
grammed to switch all the terminals to half-power state at
specific time to save the energy.
There are several limitations of this system. First, its
complexity and cost: each node or terminal must have
microprocessor, controller, and wireless interface. This
can increase the cost too much and hence hinder the
wide-scale deployment of the system. Second, it is using
a completely new network rather than using the existing
network for the road lighting control and management.
Third, the system is not automatic. The system will be
programmed to dime the terminals at specific time. The
system does not take into account the presence of vehi-
cles or not. Thus, it cannot achieve the maximum power-
saving. Another proposal that is similar to the system
proposed in [5,6] is given in [7]. Similar control system
that uses GPRS is given in [8].
In order to monitoring and control each street lighting,
the wireless sensor network (WSN) was developed in [9].
The system consists of sensor node, remote terminal unit
(RTU) and control center. The sensor nodes were installed
at each lighting pole and make up a network with RTUs.
The sensor senses the status of the lamp and the light
intensity. Using the Power Line Communication (PLC)
[9-11], the status and the control signals can be sent from
the RTU and the control center or vice versa. Another
related work that uses the WSN is given in [12]. Similar
works that uses PLC to remote control the terminal nodes
(the lamps) are given in [1,11].
Another system for controlling the road lighting is
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
S. A. E. MOHAMED 353
proposed in [13] where the streets is divided into regions.
By using vehicle-detection loops in each region, the num-
ber of vehicles entering that region can be obtained. Thus,
using a dedicated network and control system, any region
can be switched on or off depending on whether there are
vehicles detected in that region or not. They calculated a
figure of 23.7% power saving if the system is used.
Another energy-saving direction, with no lighting con-
trol, is to change the old lighting system with more so-
phisticated and energy saving equipments. For example,
in [14] by replacing the old system in Thailand by a new
high pressure sodium (HPS) road lighting, they saved up
to 25% - 30% of the energy. Similar related work to this
trend is by using the LEDs [15] (Light Emitting Diodes)
lamps that can consume only the quarter of the HPS
lamps and give almost the equivalent luminous efficacy.
3. Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks
Wireless Ad-Hoc networks get the focus of the research
community since the previous decade. More research
interests focus on the security of the Wireless Ad-Hoc
networks and the security of the wireless technologies
based on the Wireless Ad-Hoc networks [16-18]. Simi-
larly, recent developments of mobile computing devices
and wireless communication technologies enable their use
to increase the vehicles’ safety on roads and streets. This
can be realized by forming Wireless Ad-Hoc Networks
among vehicles and allowing them to exchange safety
related information. The direct communication between
vehicles using an Ad-Hoc network is referred to as in-
ter-vehicle communication (IVC) or Vehicular Ad-Hoc
Networks (VANETs) [2-4].
Thus in VANET, vehicles will be equipped by an on-
board unit having a wireless transceiver and controller.
This allows each vehicle to communicate with the sur-
rounding ones. Additionally, in VANET architecture, there
exists an infrastructure network consisting of Road-Side
Unites (RSUs) that are connected together in infrastruc-
ture. The connection between RSUs can be wired or wire-
less using the Wireless Mesh Networks. The RSU can be
viewed as Wireless Access Point and the vehicles as mo-
bile nodes. Thus, vehicles can communicate with each
other and with the RSU at the same time.
Another component of VANET is the central server
that is directly connected to the RSUs. The RSUs are
implanted on the sides of the roads with a distance of
about 400 meters between each two RSUs [19]. Thus at
any time, any vehicle is connected to an ad-hoc network
with the surrounding vehicles and is connected to the
infrastructure network. The central server can dissemi-
nate [20] information to vehicles in the road through the
RSUs. Similarly, vehicles can interact with the central
server also thought the RSU.
VANETs allow the development and creation of many
new services. Safety related services include crash or col-
lision avoidance, emergency warning system, lane-chang-
ing assistant, intersection coordination, traffic sign/signal
violation waning, and road-condition warning. Other ser-
vices (non-safety related applications) may include toll
collection, commerce transactions via vehicles, traffic in-
formation system, navigation, automatic driving, weather
information, gas station or restaurant location, and inter-
active communication such as Internet access, music
download, exchanging messages between drivers or pas-
sengers, and multimedia entertainment. For more details,
see [2,16,21].
Most of these services rely on a precise knowledge of
the position of the vehicle; the vehicle must know in real
time its precise position (i.e. the longitude, the latitude,
the altitude) on earth. Using the positioning techniques
[22-25] including GPS and Differential GPS, the vehicle
can know its real-time location, speed and direction. Addi-
tionally, using the Vehicle-to-Infrastructure communica-
tion mode, these quantities can be known by the road-
side unites (RSU). In the system to be proposed, the RSU
unites can fed the information to the controller that will
be used to decide whether or not to cut the light on a
specific part of the road.
VANET is characterized by the following distinctive
There is no need for the power optimization, (c.f. the
Wireless Sensor Networks) for the protocols as the
vehicles are powered by dynamo which produces con-
stant power.
The network topology changes very rapidly. Local
networks of vehicles are formed dynamically with very
fast network topology.
Usually, the topology of the network can be predict-
able as the vehicles moves in predefined roads/street.
The use of the digital maps can help knowing the path
of one vehicle in the next short period of time.
Vehicles exchange messages with the nearby vehicles
(local message broadcasting). For the propagation of
the message to be global, in the case of warning mes-
sage or some other services, the road-side infrastruc-
ture is used.
Communication among the vehicles is within short
periods. In some situations, the propagation of the in-
formation can be done in several multi-hop fashions.
As some applications of VANET are related to the
safety, it is critical to have communication protocols to
allow the information related to these safety application
be transmitted and processed in real time with minimal
delay. In addition, to ensure reliable communication, the
channels used for this purpose must not be subjected to
interference from other sources from radio communica-
tions. Security is of great importance for most of VANET
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
application. The aforementioned features of VANET have
led to the proposal of the Dedicated Short Range Com-
munication (DSRC) technology [19]. DSRC was adopted
by ASTM and IEEE to provide a secure, reliable, and
timely wireless communication component. It constitutes
an integral part for the intelligent transportation system
(ITS). FCC allocated the 75 MHz licensed spectrum at
5.9 GHz (5.85 - 5.925 GHz) for DSRC. The physical
layer of DSRC is based on the well known IEEE 802.11a.
The media access control (MAC) layer is based on the
generic IEEE 802.11 distributed coordination function
DSRC is not only designed for the safety applications,
but it can be used also for other commercial and non
commercial non-safety applications. This is done by pro-
viding separate channels for each category of the appli-
cations. The whole spectrum is divided into 7 different
channels with 10 MHz channel bandwidth each. Another
way of incorporating the safety and the non-safety appli-
cations is Time Division Multiplexing scheme (TDM).
For the synchronization between the communicating units,
the Universal Coordinated Time method is proposed in
the IEEE communication standards in development for
the DSRC. For obtaining the Universal Coordinated Time,
the inclusion of a Global Positioning System (GPS) re-
ceiver into each DSRC-equipped vehicle is a must. For
more information about VANET, please see [2,17,18,26,
27] for more detail.
4. Architecture of the Intelligent Road
Lighting Control System
Using VANET infrastructure and terminology, the infra-
structure of the proposal can be described as follows. The
Road-Side Units (RSUs) are typically 400 meters apart
[19]. The distance between any two ligh t nodes is less
than 100 meters, with an average of 70 meters depending
on the number of lanes in the street/road. The RSU can
communicate directly and wirelessly within its range
with several light nodes. In each light node (See Figure
1), a wireless transceiver is to be installed with the
electronic ballast. The controller can switch the lamp on
or off or dime the light if applicable. The later can be
done by reducing the light intensity (control the level of
energy consumption). We refer to all these equipments as
Light Node (LN).
The street or the road is divided into Virtual Zones
(VZ). The light of each zone is controlled by the RSU. A
controller in the RSU can estimate the ideal light status
of its virtual zone based on the location, the presence of
vehicles, the time, the weather condition, etc. It then
sends wirelessly a control signal to all the light nodes in
the virtual zone. This architecture represents the coarse-
grained solution.
However, another solution can be presented using
fine-grained architecture. In the fine-grained architecture,
no virtual zones are considered, but each light node will
have its own controller or controlled by the RSU. Light
nodes work in a chain, that means that each one commu-
nicate directly with the previous and the next light nodes
only or the RSU. Based on the control parameters (the
presence of vehicles, the speed, the weather condition,
the location), the light status of the current light nodes is
determined. The RSU still play a critical role in the
fine-grained architecture.
The comparison between the coarse-grained and the
fine-grained architectures is as follows. The fine-grained
architecture can save more energy, but if it is not done
wisely it can be more complex and more expensive. On
the other side, the coarse-grained solution is simple, less
expensive, requires minimum control signal communica-
tions but not optimum in the energy saving. However, it
can save much energy compared to the classical road
lighting control systems.
4.1. Coarse-Grained Architecture Operation
The coarse-grained architecture operation is described in
this Subsection (See Figure 2). From VANET basic op-
erations, the vehicles broadcast periodically its current
location, direction, speed, and the acceleration or decal-
eration to the surrounding vehicles. These values are also
intercepted by the nearby RSU; hence it can know all this
information for each vehicle in its covering area. Thus
the RSU knows at any time how many vehicles in its
covering area. Furthermore, the RSUs are connected in
an infrastructure (wired or wirelessly using Wireless Mesh
Network). Thus, they can communicate together and ex-
change the mentioned information. The RSUs are also
connected to a central control server that can send them
Figure 1. The block diagram of the Light Node architecture.
S. A. E. MOHAMED 355
Figure 2. Coarse-grained architecture: each Road-Side Unite (RSU) controls the light state of all the Light Nodes (LN) in its
covering area (VZ) by sending Turn on/off wire less control message to them.
VANET related information. In addition, the central con-
trol server has to send to the RSUs the time, the weather
condition (cloudy, foggy, rainy, etc.), natural light inten-
sity (day or night), etc.
Given all this information, each RSU controller can
know if it has vehicles at any time or not. Moreover,
based on the knowledge of the speed and the acceleration
or the deceleration of each vehicle, when each vehicle
will enter the covering area of any RSU can be deter-
mined using Newton’s Laws. The information about the
vehicles that are currently in the covering area of a given
RSU will be sent to the next RSU in the street/road (We
know from VANET architecture that the RSUs are con-
nected via an infrastructure network).
The RSU can calculate the light control signal as fol-
lows: If dark light conditions (night, cloud, fog etc.) and
there exists any vehicle in its covering area or it is ex-
pected that vehicles in the previous Virtual Zone (VZ) is
approaching its covering area, then the RSU will send to
all the Light Nodes in its VZ a control signal to light
their lamps. Otherwise, it will send a control signal to the
Light Nodes in its VZ to turn off their lamps.
For simplicity, let’s consider that only one moving ve-
hicle in the street/road. The lamps are lit in the current
VZ (having the vehicle). Moreover, the lamps in the next
VZ are lit (to keep good visibility range). The lamps are
turned off in any VZ once the vehicle leaves this VZ. If
we have many vehicles that are moving and dispersed on
the street/road, VZs that have vehicles or expecting vehi-
cles turn on the light in their Light Nodes. Other VZs
will have the Light Nodes (LN) turned off. In this case,
much energy will be saved especially in streets/roads that
have low traffic rate or in the late period of times at night
(for example after 1:00 am). At the same time, the pro-
posed system maintains the required light condition and
safe visibility range for the drivers. More optimization to
save more energy can be done (Refer to Section 4.4 for
more details). There exists one problem with coarse-
grained architecture (See Figure 3). The VZ is long and
it has many LNs. All the LNs will be lit even if only one
vehicle is travelling on that VZ. They will stay lighted
until the last vehicle leaves this VZ. LNs behind the last
vehicle have to stay unnecessarily lighted on. If we could
individually control the light state of the LNs, then more
energy can be saved. This is the fine-grained architecture
which will be described in the next Section.
4.2. Fine-Grained Architecture Operation
To optimize the power consumption, the fine-grained ar-
chitecture has to be used. Two approaches can be pro-
posed. In the first approach, each LN will control the
light status individually and has to play the role of the
RSU. This approach has this drawback: it will add more
complexity and more expensive cost for the design of the
LNs. The second solution is the same as the one pro-
posed for the coarse-grained architecture, with the fol-
lowing exception. Each RSU knows the information about
each vehicle in its covering area. Each LN’s wireless
interface has a physical address (the MAC address). The
RSU must know the LNs’ addresses in its covering area.
Instead of broadcasting the control signal to all the LNS,
the RSU can calculate the required lighting state of each
LN and send to each LN (point-to-point) the signal (to
turn the light on or off). In this case, the front part of the
VZ is lit, but the rear part that has no vehicles (behind the
last vehicle in the VZ) will be turned off.
The advantage of this solution is its simplicity and no
need for extra hardware. Only the RSU controller pro-
gramming has to be developed in such a way to take into
account this functionality. The most important advantage
of this solution is that it can save much energy compared
to the coarse-grained solution, see Section 5 for numeri-
cal example.
4.2.1. Two-Way Streets and Adjacent Roads
There are two issues to be highlighted for the proposed
system. The first one is about this question: What to do
for the bidirectional streets or roads? In both proposed
architectures, the RSU can determine the status of the
control signal based on the speed, position and the direc-
tion of each vehicle. The second issue is for the two ad-
jacent roads, in which the Light Nodes is placed in the
middle of the two roads. In this case, Light Node has two
lamps and two ballasts. Each ballast can be controlled
individually. Thus, the RSU can send control signals to
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
Figure 3. In coarse-grained architecture, Light Nodes (LNs) may be unnecessarily lit. This can waste power. This led us to
think in the fine-grained architecture to eliminate the energy waste.
each road individually. The lamps on the road that has
vehicles will be lit and on the other adjacent road will be
switched off if no vehicles exist on it. This in turn can
reduce the energy consumption.
4.2.2. Dimmable Light Nodes
If the road or street lighting system is dimmable, further
energy saving can be obtained. Based on the number of
vehicles and the weather conditions the light intensity
can be controlled. For example, at the beginning of the
night, the light intensity can be sit to 60% for the zones
having vehicles. Additionally, if the zone has only one
vehicle, the light intensity can be sit to 40%, but if there
are many vehicles in a zone, the light intensity can be sit
to 100%. There exist many technologies for the dimma-
ble street lighting systems (See for example [1,16]). Dim-
ming light source reduces the visibility of the drivers,
which will hamper the safety of drivers and pedestrians
[15]. Research about this topic has been made, the result
of which shows that the amount of dimming does not
seem to have a great influence on the visibility of ob-
servers until 50% [15].
4.2.3. Existence of Pedestrians
In the highways or in the roads where there is no pedes-
trians switching the light off is permitted. This can con-
tribute to energy saving without danger. However, in the
streets or in the city centers where there exist pedestrians,
complete switching off of the light is not allowed all the
night even if there are no vehicles on the streets. This is
for the safety of people and to eliminate the crimes etc.
Thus the system has to have two levels with dimmable
electronic ballasts: the upper and the lower levels. These
levels are dynamic and vary with time and the number of
vehicles in the streets.
For pedestrians to ensure that they can see at night, the
lower level is used. For a suggested levels of luminance,
please refer to Figure 4. The explanation of these levels
Figure 4. A suggested lower luminance level to maintain
good visibility for pedestrians, taking into account the trend
of people to be outdoors at night.
is as follows. Let’s say that the lowest level is set to 50%
(as suggested in other researches without having prob-
lems on the pedestrian’s visibility [1,15]) from the full
power at the beginning of the night as more people tend
to be on the streets. Before 5 pm, no need to light the
streets. They are turned off. Starting from that time, the
luminance level is increase gradually to reach the full at
7 pm. More people remain outside until 10 pm. Thus, the
level is kept at the max without dimming the light. After
that time, more people go home, and thus, we can de-
crease the light level gradually. This level can be de-
creased with time to reach 20% at the end of the night
(small number of people exists outdoors after 2:00 am).
For example, the street beside my house is very wide and
illuminated on both sides. The flow rate of pedestrians
may not exceed 1 or 2 person per hour and it is lit all the
time. Thus, it is not wise to leave it lit by its full power
all the night. In the morning, around 6 am, the light is
turned off. A design consideration can take into account
the flow rate of the pedestrians per street and can be fed
from the central server to the RSUs to take into account
this level.
The upper level is used for allowing visibility of the
drivers. It varies with the number of vehicles in each
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
S. A. E. MOHAMED 357
zone. For example, for only one vehicle, it is not wise to
turn all the lights in the zones to their full power, but
when there are many vehicles, the current zone has to be
lit with maximum standard level of luminance.
4.2.4. Light Node Maintenance and Monitoring
An important and time consuming task carried out by the
traffic authorities is the maintenance and monitoring of
the street lighting system. The Lamps has specific life-
time and can be broken down at any time. Thus, it has to
be replaced immediately to provide the required level of
visibility and hence the safety. However, identifying the
health status of all the Lamps in big cities containing
millions of LNs dispersed on thousands of long streets
and roads is a very hard and unfeasible task.
In the proposed system, we can do that automatically.
The controller of each LN can sense the state of the elec-
tronic ballast and hence the state of the lamp (See Figure
1). Thus, if failure is detected, the controller which is
already equipped by a wireless transceiver can send this
information along with the location of the LN to the
nearby Road-Side Unite (RSU). The RSU in turn sends
the information through the VANET infrastructure to the
central server.
Failure can exist also in the LN controller. To be de-
tected, the following simple technique is proposed. Each
RSU maintain a list of the LNs in its covering area with
their physical address (the MAC address). Each LN has
to send an I-am-Alive signal to the RSU every one min-
ute (or even 10 minutes to reduce the traffic flow). If the
RSU does not hear from the LN for a specific period, it
can send a Light-Node-Controller failure warning mes-
sage to the monitoring server. Using specific software,
the traffic authority can automatically obtain a report on
the health status of all the Lamps on the street. Upon
failure detection of any node, they can send technician to
the specified location for replacing the Lamp.
4.2.5. Which Types of Lambs Can Be Used with This
For the street lighting systems, there are a wide range of
used technologies. These technologies are Incandescent,
Halogen, Fluorescent, Compact Fluorescent (CFL), Light
Emitting Diodes (LED), and Discharge. Example of the
Discharge is the High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps.
Please refer to the following table for a comparison be-
tween the characteristics of these technologies. All the
technologies except LED and Discharge have very lim-
ited lamp lifetime. This limits their uses in the modern
street lighting systems due to the replacement cost and
the maintenance. Now comparing LED and Discharge
lamps, we can see that LED has more lifetimes (around
50,000 hours). However, they have higher efficacy than
LED. One major drawback that makes all the Discharge
lamps not suitable for the proposed system is the start-up
time. We can see that Discharge lamps can take up to 30
seconds to become full bright. LED, on the other side,
has instant start-up time (around 0.01 second). Another
drawback of the discharge lamps is that they are not
dimmable. LED on the contrast is dimmable. Discharge
lamps suffer from the flicker, but not the LED. For all
these reasons, LED is the perfect choice to be used with
our proposed system. Fortunately most of the street light-
ing manufacturers are now recommending the use of
LED and they are switching to use LED for the modern
street lighting equipments.
4.2.6. Case of Emergency
Regarding the emergency cases, the proposed system
provides the required level of visibility to the drivers. On
the highways, only vehicles are passing. The system is
proposed to cut the parts of the streets that have no vehi-
cles at any time. However, in the city centers, where
people may exist in the city, the system does not cut the
light, but dimming it to the lowest allowed range in some
periods which is 50% from the full power. In the can be
implemented so that the automatic control of the light be
4.2.7. Commun ication between RSU and L ight Node s
It is important to describe the communication between
the RSU and the LNs. Both the RSU and the LNs. Both
the RSU and the LNs are equipped by Wireless Trans-
ceivers. This allows both of them to communicate wire-
lessly. The communication between them can be using
simple TCP protocol. The RSU is connected to about 5
LNs as stated before. It is not a problem t maintain 5 al-
ways open TCP sessions between them. The reason for
using TCP is for the reliability. The traffic from the RSU
to the LN is very small. Just simple and small control
messages between them are to be transmitted. The end-
to-end delay is very small. The use of TCP produces no
packet loss. The simple retransmission of TCP is suffi-
cient to retransmit the dropped packets or those transmit-
ted in error due to the wireless traffic.
5. Estimation of the Saved Energy and
Lamp Lifetime
This Section shows an estimation of the saving in the
Electrical Energy if the system is used. In Section 4.2.7,
we compared the different types of street lighting tech-
nologies. We concluded that the best suitable one is LED.
Other technologies like HID have much start-up time.
During this time, the current may be 200% from the
normal running current. However, the start-up time of
LED lamps is only 0.01 second. Even if there may be
extra start-up current, its effect on the following calcula-
tion is negligible.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. IJCNS
Assume for simplicity that from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm,
the flow of the vehicles is large and hence each sector of
the road can have at least one vehicle with a probability
of 0.9. Also assume that from 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm, the
flow of the vehicles is with low rate and that the prob-
ability that a vehicle exist in a sector is 0.30. Finally,
from 11:00 pm to 6:00 am, assume that the rate of vehi-
cles decrease to have a probability of 0.05. The total pe-
riod of road lighting is 13 hours per day. Although these
assumptions are very close to several realistic situations,
they are used only for the validation purpose. They are
not artificially selected to show that the system is valid
and useful. We know that in practice, the gains may be
less than the results obtained here. Of course, for any
similar assumptions, we will get gains varying based on
the chosen values.
nlc nPL
. In the coarse-grained architecture, each
VZ stay lit for a time
2ls then it will be turned off.
As explained before, to maintain sufficient visibility, the
VZ having the vehicle(s) and the next one have to be lit
and stay lit until the last vehicle leave it. The total power
consumed for the trip when the coarse-grained architec-
ture is used can be given by:
max ,
cganlc nkPL
. If we assume that the
sufficient level of visibility is the length of the VZ, then
for the fine-grained architecture, the total power con-
sumed can be given by: max ,
fganlc nkPL
For the coarse-grained architecture, we can calculate
the energy saving by this simplified equation
Power Saving
1340.920.370.05100 65%.
  
Thus, in this example the fine-grained architecture
consumes half the power of the coarse-grained architect-
ture. Assuming the following numerical values: k = 20
vehicles, L = 100 Km, l = 400 m, s = 100 Km/h, n = 8,
and P = 200 W, then TPnlc = 400,000 W·h; TPcg 64,000
W·h and TPfga 32,000 W·h. The minimum power sav-
ing in the coarse-grained is 84% and that in the fine-
grained is 92%. Even if this example is not always realis-
tic, it gives an indication of the huge energy saving if the
proposed system is used. Additionally, it indicates that
the fine-grained saves more power than the coarse-grained
Increased Lamp Lifetime = 1 1/0.65 = 53%. The
typical lifetime of the LED lamps is 50,000 hours (refer
to Table 2). That means that lifetime of the Lamps is
increased to be 75,000 hours. This in turns reduces the
total maintenance cost of the road lighting system. The
lifetime of HID lamps is affected by the number of starts.
However, for LED and using the electronic ballast, it is
not the case. The effect of the number of starts on the
lifetime is not too much compared to the total increase of
the used period.
6. Conclusions and Future Research
In this paper, an efficient autonomous street lighting con-
trol and monitoring system based on the innovative tech-
nology named as Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANET)
is proposed. The system can be integrated with VANET
to reduce the cost and use the rich services and commu-
nication features of VANET. The advantages of the sys-
tem can be summarized as follows. Huge energy can be
saved without affecting the visibility and the safety of the
drivers. It can extend the lifetime of the lamps. It can
automatically monitor the street lighting equipments
(Lamps and controllers) and warn the maintenance traffic
authority upon failure detection in any place of the streets.
Comparison between Coarse-Grained and
Fine-Grained Architectures
In order to compare the coarse-grained and the fine-
grained architectures, the following assumptions for sim-
plicity and without losing the generality are applied. For
a road of length L with VZ of length l each having n light
nodes each consuming power P, there are k vehicles
travelling with a speed s. The total power consumed for
the trip if no light control is used can be given by:
Table 2. Characteristics of the most used street lighting technologies [28].
Feature Incandescent Halogen Fluorescent CFL LED Discharge
Typical lifetime (hrs) 1000 2000 10 - 15,000 8 - 15,000 50,000 5 - 20,000
Efficiency (lumens/w a tt) 7 - 17 25 60 - 100 45 - 60 20 - 85 70 - 150
Start-up time (seconds) 0.1 0.1 1 (older longer) 1 0.01 15 - 30
Fully bright (seconds) 1 1 A few Up to 120 0.01 30
Dimming possible? Yes A little Some models Special models Yes No
Flicker Minor Minor Older types No No Yes
Hum No No Older types No No Some types
End of life Land fill Land fill Recycle Recycle Recycle Recycle
S. A. E. MOHAMED 359
Two alternatives are proposed: one suitable to highways
where no pedestrians exist and the other one for the loca-
tions where there exist pedestrians. Two different archi-
tectures for the proposed system are presented and evalu-
ated: the coarse-grained and the fine-grained. Other re-
lated works are using static methods for reducing the
consumed power energy. They propose the replacement
of the existing lamps by other types that consumes less.
Another trend is to use dimmable lamps.
Research extension to this work may include consid-
ering the security issues and the possible attacks to the
system. The security measures have to be considered. All
the wireless communications have to be secured. Other-
wise, many attacks can be launched against the system to
compromise its functions. For example, a rubber can
attack the system switching off all the lamps in a city
center to attack a bank or cause violence. Thus, all the
wireless communications and the control signals have to
be secured and authenticated. Another trend is to propose
the hardware and software design for the controllers.
7. Acknowledgements
The author would like to acknowledge the Scientific Re-
search Deanship, Qassim University for supporting this
research paper.
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