Why Buenos Aires Leads The World In Lighting

Nick Quin

In my final article in this series on the evolution of Buenos Aires as a smart city, let us examine its innovative lighting system.

Public lighting is perhaps the most essential aspect of urban planning. Street lights allow us to safely explore our streets at night, enabling us to enjoy all our cities have to offer.

Unfortunately, public lighting is an incredible strain on our environment. According to a landmark study by The Climate Group, traditional street lighting produces over 735 million tons of CO2 each year.

Conversely, LED lighting is 40% to 60% more energy efficient than traditional street lighting. LED lights can also reduce operational costs by 50%.

In 2013, Buenos Aires recognized this opportunity to improve the city through LED street lighting. Leaders embarked on an ambitious three-year project to replace 91,000 traditional street lights with LED lighting. The results of this project prove that smart city initiatives are a worthwhile investment.

As the city manufactured and installed each light, it successfully coordinated every hour of work using an ERP system. Subsequently, this system has remained at the foundation of the city’s public lighting administration ever since. The cloud-based ERP system allows the city to analyze its remaining stock and installation speeds in real-time. This ensures citizens are never without public lighting for long.

To optimize the maintenance of each street light, Buenos Aires integrated its public lighting telemanagement system with the latest digital technologies. As a result, city administrators can assign maintenance orders in real time through a single dashboard. This has centralized the city’s lighting administration, giving Buenos Aires better control over public lighting and maintenance operations.

In addition to LED lighting, all street lights in Buenos Aires contain antennae which communicate with the telemanagement system. These antennae deliver real-time feedback on the performance and power consumption of each street light. As a result, Buenos Aires can be instantly alerted to any power outages or breakages across the city. This has made the streets much safer for citizens.

Since completing the project in 2016, the citizens of Buenos Aires have enjoyed the improvement. By enabling more residents to roam the streets at night, Buenos Aires is reaping the benefits of a more vibrant night-time economy. The ability to bring Industry 4.0 to everyone is what excites me about the smart city movement. Cities like Buenos Aires deliver the benefits of innovation to all citizens, instead of only those who can afford them.

As a regional manager at SAP, I’m passionate about providing such advanced solutions to as many people as possible. With a smart city partner, every city across the world can access the same benefits as Buenos Aires. Whether its improved lighting, disaster management, or maintenance, these innovations can improve the lives of every citizen.

For more on Buenos Aires’ smart city initiatives, see How Buenos Aires Deploys The Internet Of Things To Prevent Disaster.


Nick Quin

About Nick Quin

Nick Quin is Regional Manager, Southern Region for SAP New Zealand based in Wellington. Nick has been involved in the transformation of organisations across Asia Pacific for over 25 years, with a passion for leading & developing teams, who are committed to deliver the business outcomes sought by our customers.