Light posts have been around since ancient times of the Greek and Roman Empires. Their main purpose was security. The street illumination not only kept robbers at bay, but also provided protection from tripping hazards. Today, streetlights line can be found along the busiest highways and the quietest streets. Many new installations are including solar panels and efficient LED lighting. While the light recharges during the day, the new bulbs use little energy during the night, and even have auto dimming features. We now introduce a new concept for a new dynamic lighting system.
This Dynamic Lighting System would be a linked structure or act as a standalone multifunctional tool for nighttime highway, road, and sidewalk operations. Light posts will be able to perform most actions alone but will gain additional functionality when in unison. The chain operation would span an uninterrupted city block along a street or road.
Individual lights posts will be able to provide hints, data, and information via ground illumination. Corner streetlights would give basic navigational data along with street names and headings. There would be hints that can be displayed from any individual post about dangers such as construction, potholes, and general negative road conditions. Other information would include weather conditions, visibility, and auto generated traffic reports. Even open and closed statuses can be displayed next to stores and venues, particularly in front of cars whose drivers are looking for that specific location via GPS.
The streetlights will also be able to detect crossing foot traffic in certain slow speed area and will shine a virtual cross walk onto the ground. Traffic lights that are further away towards traffic in both directions will be able to shine caution or warning lights for vehicles and trucks. This will especially be important around curves and other low visibility areas.
Dynamic and alternating speed limits are gaining traction. At night, these lights will be able to project variable speed limits that depend on traffic conditions, road integrity, and other variables such as foot and bicycles traffic. Virtual speed limits from light post projections will especially be convenient in rural areas, where there are not many street signs.
Parking applications will be extremely useful. At night, it is hard to find street parking easily, especially in places with lots of other ambient lighting. The streetlights will be able to display green or red illuminations on top of the physical light housing covers for convenience. It will also be able to display ground arrows and give a count of how many parking spots are available ahead of time. The first light, after the initial turn onto a certain street or road, will display a full count of parking spots.
These dynamic lights will shine in emergency situations. They will be able to virtually and without contact or other external equipment, close a road to drivers and pedestrians. They will also be able to display warning for high water or impassable roads during the darkest night hours. This just might save a few cars from driving into flood waters and becoming inoperable. The lighting system can be connected to any authorized agency or company and give proper cautions and detour data as required.
Chain lighting will allow the lights to work as a gradual navigational aid. For instance, if there is a car accident, especially along a highway, the lights will display colors from green to red to indicate that it is time to slow down. This will prevent sudden stops and potentially new accidents. Drivers will have more time to make decisions and react. Chain lighting will also be able to create a distance countdown to certain large and important events. No more missing turns and driving around endlessly.
These are just a few of the many possibilities for applications of a dynamic lighting system. Street illumination has been an integral part of our lives in the cities and rural areas. It is time for them to dapt and evolve to modern, interconnected, and digital times.