Internet-enabled street lights will improve efficiency and data-gathering capabilities in cities.

Various cities are turning to intelligent, Internet-enabled street lights in an attempt to improve efficiency and data-gathering capabilities. The City of London recently announced it will spend £3.25 million to install 14,000 “smart street lights” that can alert technicians via an iPad app when they need to be repaired or replaced. Workers can adjust the output of each light through the app, allowing for greater energy efficiency. The system is expected to save £420,000 a year in energy bills beginning in 2015.

Intellistreets lampposts, from U.S.-based Illuminating Concepts, can also be controlled remotely. In addition, wireless Internet and sensors provide environmental data to city planners, and a concealed speaker can emit music, announcements and alerts. Optional extras include a digital sign and sensors that can detect seismic activity, water levels and pedestrian traffic. The company suggests the lamps could relay information during emergencies. The cities of Philadelphia and Chicago have placed orders.