Connecting Communities: Holistic Smart Lighting & Enabling Technologies Guidebook Released

Municipal Smart City Street Light Conversion & Evolving Technology Guidebook

The convergence of energy saving, responsive technologies, ownership of data and infrastructure is an ongoing debate. In parallel, issues of public space equity and social cohesion is in flux.

The 2020 publication, Municipal Smart City Street Light Conversion & Evolving Technology Guidebook was commissioned by New York State’s Metropolitan Planning Organization (Capital District Transportation Committee) as their premier Smart Communities Task Force project. The Task Force explores leveraging emerging technologies to improve mobility and foster sustainability. The 63-page book spotlights the City of Saratoga Springs as an exemplar.

The NightSeeing™ community engagement event provided a two-way active learning session for authors and stakeholders.
Read about the program:

NTD partnered with Planning4Places to develop light and technology guidance for New York State cities and towns. The guidance discusses the every-city concern about economic benefits, layered with the possibilities of additional, smart, technologies once lighting systems have been upgraded and converted to LED.

Through a holistic approach — valuing safety, welcome, walkability, and social capital — International Nighttime Design Initiative encourages municipalities consider the practical the advantages of connected lighting as a critical tool for around-the-clock placemaking.

The Municipal Smart Lighting guidence illuminates the challenge of interagency coordination

New York tariffs do not yet take into account reduced energy use for dimming. Therefore the value of dimming coupled with social research about needs of after-dark public space use do not accrue direct economic benefits. However, the book underscores and delineates a decision-making process, not only in regard to saving money and energy, but also in terms of fundamental social benefits resulting from better quality of light and designs that echo varied district uses at night.

The Shades of Night is a framework with which to analyze the confluence of activies and states of light at night

The Guidebook walks the reader through a three-step decision-making roadmap. The first step engages communities and sets priorities.

The Municipal Smart Lighting Guidance includes a three-step decision making road map. Step Two starts with strategy and ends with pilots.

The Municipal Smart Lighting Guidance includes a three step decision making roadmap. Step Three finalizes management processs and ready to procure and install

For an in-depth understanding of our recommendations please download the full book, or the decision-making roadmap extract below.

Leni Schwendinger, Ute Besenecker, Ken Appleman and Fatima Terin authored the Guidebook for NTD. For biographies see


Municipal Smart City Street Light Conversion & Evolving Technology Guidebook

Guidebook extract: decision-making roadmap (high resolution)