Officials in London are planning to make a serious upgrade to the street lighting system in Westminster over the next four years. The borough has committed to spending £3.25 million to replace 14,000 lights with new energy efficient versions. What's most interesting about these new lights is that they are "smart street lights," which have the ability to alert workers through an iPad app when they need to be repaired or replaced. Additionally, technicians can control the output of each light with the app, further increasing efficiency.
A first for the UK, the city council says that its initial investment in the smart street lights will be recouped within seven years thanks to the new lights' lower cost of operation. The lights will allegedly save taxpayers £420,000 per year in energy bills starting in 2015. With favorable figures like that, it's likely that we will see other modern cities adopt similar smart lighting systems in the future.