BrightSites Networked Poles Use IoT to Create Safer, Smarter Cities

Signify’s award-winning BrightSites smart poles transform the standard light pole into a smart network hub. With an array of integrated IoT technologies, real-time data monitoring, and energy-efficient innovations, cities can monitor critical environmental health and safety information to improve the lives of their citizens and gain an easy pathway to 5G infrastructure. 


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Image credit: Signify

Signify is bringing new life to a familiar city structure and helping to build smarter, safer cities in the process. The LED lighting company, based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, created the BrightSites I-Series light poles, which combine energy-efficient lighting with IoT technologies and integrate the SAP Analytics Cloud and the SAP HANA data management platform to give municipalities real-time information about their cities. 

The BrightSites I-Series light poles enable public safety and environmental monitoring, and pave the way for cities to launch 5G networks. The integrated capabilities in the BrightSites smart poles earned Signify the Best Run Leader award in the High Tech category at the 2020 SAP Innovation Awards

 More Than a Light Pole

The Wi-Fi-equipped BrightSites I-Series poles contain smart microphones integrated with pattern recognition software to detect noises, such as shouting, car alarms, breaking glass, and gunshots. If these sounds are detected, the lights on the BrightSites poles brighten, the microphones record the audio, and emergency services are alerted. Cameras on the poles help to guide emergency responders to the alerts. Additionally, the poles can be equipped with a display screen that can share customizable messages, including advertisements, with passersby.

The integrated SAP technology provides situational awareness and live data analytics. The BrightSites poles use the SAP Chatbot to gain real-time luminaire control and failure detection. The SAP Analytics Cloud and HANA allow for monitoring of energy consumption and incident detection, giving municipalities immediate insights into the surrounding environment. Signify also integrated the SAP Leonardo ML Functional Services + Data Intelligence technology that uses facial image recognition to enable crowd control. 

BrightSites smart light poles in a business park area

Image credit: Signify


The SAP technologies allow Signify to expand the capabilities of the BrightSites poles, including improving maintenance times. If a pole requires repair, a service alert is automatically sent to the municipality. Cameras and the brighter light can guide maintenance personnel to the damaged pole. According to Signify, BrightSites poles can lead to a 70 percent faster response time for municipality service departments.

Looking Forward and Going Green 

Available in a variety of heights and colors, the BrightSites poles can deliver 4G/5G, Wi-Fi, LoRa, Sigfox, and fiber hubs. BrightSites smart poles can be a boon for cities that are looking to support 5G telecom infrastructure: 5G networks require six times greater density of antennas, but cities can use the BrightSites smart poles where outdoor public lighting already exists and eliminate the need for a mass installment of additional antennas. 

The poles themselves are eco-friendly as well. The BrightSites poles use Philips LED lights and have 30 percent less energy consumption than typical light poles, according to the company. Philips states that its LED lights use 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs, and LED light bulbs can last up to 22 years, which is the equivalent of 25 incandescent light bulbs. As a result, the BrightSites poles require less energy to run and will have longer-lasting light sources, which reduces total waste over time. 

In a further effort to create a more environmentally friendly society, Signifies' BrightSites I-Series poles use sensors to monitor and collect data on environmental factors, such as air quality and noise. The poles cameras on each pole monitor road conditions, provide information on traffic flow, maintenance requirements, and emergency needs.

The BrightSites smart poles will help cities meet the increasing demands for wireless connectivity and urban sustainability. Currently, the BrightSites poles are used in San Jose, CA, and internationally, including in major cities in Spain and France. 


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