SmartCOS smart streetlight pilot project


City and Springs Utilities testing smart streetlight controllers for energy and operational efficiencies

The City of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) are collaborating through their joint SmartCOS program to implement a pilot smart streetlight project. Fifty smart streetlight controllers are being installed on existing LED streetlights around Colorado Springs. A group of 22 will be located along Pikes Peak Ave. between Hancock Ave. and Union Blvd. north of Memorial Park. The remaining controllers will go in various locations around the city where existing LED lights are located.

Smart Controllers

The smart streetlight controllers will receive and transfer streetlight related data through a secure cellular network. The smart controllers used in this pilot project will allow the City to:

  • Remotely operate and control light levels
  • Program lights to turn on and off, or dim to adapt to time of night, season, or event
  • Monitor energy consumption data
  • Receive notifications when a light goes out, and its exact location
  • Enable future SmartCOS solutions


The goal of the pilot project is to collect data and analytics on streetlight usage to plan for the conversion of the city’s streetlight infrastructure. The City and Springs Utilities want to establish a clear growth plan for streetlight advancement focused on energy and operational efficiency, asset management, reduced operation and maintenance costs, and future smart citySmart Cities utilize technology and the Internet of Things to address challenges facing our community and improve the quality of life for our citizens, particularly in the areas of connectivity, energy, and resilience. Colorado Springs identified four organizational pillars to implement a vision for Smart Cities: Energy and utilities, transportation and mobility, City services, and buildings and sustainability. technology.

Ultimately, smart LED streetlights:

  • Reduce energy use
  • Create safer environments
  • Enhance asset management
  • Lower operations and maintenance costs

The cost of the smart streetlight controller pilot, including the controllers and consulting fees, is $33,250. The pilot is funded by the City of Colorado Springs Office of Innovation. Following the six-month pilot project, the City and Springs Utilities will assess results, scalability, and costs to potentially integrate smart controllers and accelerate the conversion of Colorado Springs’ streetlights to LEDs

Current street lighting

The City pays $4 million annually for Springs Utilities to maintain approximately 29,000 streetlights in Colorado Springs. Approximately 10 percent of those streetlights have been converted to LEDs. Approximately 600 of the LEDs can integrate smart city technologies like the smart controllers. Through the SmartCOS program, the City and Springs Utilities standardized the use of LED fixtures that can enable future smart technologies for all new and replaced streetlights.

Frequently asked questions

What is the current cost and energy consumption of all the streetlights in Colorado Springs?

The streetlight system is owned, operated and maintained by Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities). The City of Colorado Springs (City) pays Springs Utilities a streetlight fee of $4 million annually to operate and maintain the streetlights.  The estimated annual streetlight energy consumption is 23 million kWh; however actual consumption cannot be calculated as the streetlights are not metered.

How much money and energy could the City save by converting the streetlights in Colorado Springs to smart LEDs?

Currently, Springs Utilities does not meter each streetlight and does not have the ability to track energy consumption per individual streetlight. The pilot project will allow Springs Utilities and the City to obtain energy consumption data to calculate the amount of potential energy and cost savings if we were to integrate smart controllers and accelerate the conversion of streetlights to LEDs. Cities that have converted to LED streetlights are seeing energy reductions of up to 50 percent.

What are the smart controllers capable of?

The smart streetlight controllers can receive and transmit streetlight data through a secure cellular network. The controllers allow the City to set the streetlight on specific lighting schedules, turn the streetlight on/off and dim the streetlights. In addition, the smart controllers can notify the City and Springs Utilities if the streetlight is not working.

How will the City “control” the lighting during the pilot project?

The City plans on developing and applying light schedules, including on/off and dimming functions throughout the pilot phase. Numerous scheduling scenarios will be run to assess consumption and operational data. Residents residing in or near a test site may notice a reduction or increase in luminosity levels, streetlights turning on/off during off-peak hours and potential changes to lighting schedules. Overall, residents near test locations should not experience a significant change to current lighting levels and should not be adversely impacted.

How many streetlight repair requests do the City and Springs Utilities get each year?

Springs Utilities typically services around 4500 streetlights per year from customer requests, and 4500 streetlights per year for preventive maintenance.

What would it cost to convert the City’s streetlights to smart LEDs?

Data obtained from the pilot project will allow the City and Springs Utilities to estimate the one-time and ongoing costs associated with integrating smart controllers and accelerating the conversion of streetlights to LEDs.

Can the streetlights be motion-activated?

While there are smart streetlight controllers that have a motion activation feature, the controllers utilized in the pilot do not have this function.

How do I find out if a streetlight controller is in my neighborhood?

What kind of smart technology are you going to put on the streetlights?

The City’s Office of Innovation is currently assessing the viability and applicability of smart city technologies that may be integrated into streetlights. In addition to the streetlight controller technology, the City is currently exploring the use of weather-based sensors to measure data such as snow depth and surface temperature.

Whom can I contact for more information?

The City’s Office of Innovation: 7199-385-6602 or

Final Report

Final Report


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