Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




1784 posts

Uber Geek


# 133655 29-Oct-2013 17:06
Send private message

The street lights in my street have been on during the day time for the last week or so and it set me thinking about how street lights actually work.

I assumed that they use some sort of automatic system, either a timer to know when to turn on and off, or a light detector to turn them on when it's dark and off when it's light.

Does anyone know which system we use here in NZ?

And why would all the lights in my street (about four or five lights) be on during the day?  If the lights had their own system then I could understand one or maybe two failing and turning the light on during the day.  But for all of them to be on says that they share a system.

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3
4967 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  # 923678 29-Oct-2013 17:09
One person supports this post
Send private message

I think it's some kind of ripple control system like what is used to remotely switch HW cylinders off during peak demand.




Whatifthespacekeyhadneverbeeninvented?


Mr Snotty
8921 posts

Uber Geek

Moderator
Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 923679 29-Oct-2013 17:10
Send private message

Depending on where you are it could be using one of 2 things:

1) Ripple Control - your local electricity supplier injects a signal down the line which turns streetlights on or off, this is normally generated by a big motor like [this]
2) Light Sensors - used in places where ripple control doesn't control the lights.

If the streetlight has been on for quite a while it's likely got a faulty light sensor, you should ring up the council and report it.




 
 
 
 


3344 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Vocus

  # 923680 29-Oct-2013 17:11
Send private message

It just means someone forgot to set the switch to "More Magic"



1784 posts

Uber Geek


  # 923681 29-Oct-2013 17:13
2 people support this post
Send private message

ubergeeknz: It just means someone forgot to set the switch to "More Magic"

When I was a kid I used to think that someone had a job to turn the street lights on and off. They would sit in an office somewhere and control all the lights in Auckland! 

28369 posts

Uber Geek

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  # 923682 29-Oct-2013 17:14
One person supports this post
Send private message

michaelmurfy:
If the streetlight has been on for quite a while it's likely got a faulty light sensor, you should ring up the council and report it.


Streetlight circuits normally cover quite large areas. Assuming it's never going off it could be a fault, or could be maintenance being done elsewhere, ie looking for blown bulbs and replacing them.



1784 posts

Uber Geek


  # 923683 29-Oct-2013 17:15
Send private message

I'm on Auckland's North Shore. 

So with ripple control would they control whole suburbs with a single motor, or would they need one motor for every, say, 100 lights?

Just wondering why it only affected all the lights in my street and none of the surrounding streets.

1725 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 923689 29-Oct-2013 17:35
Send private message

MurrayM: I'm on Auckland's North Shore. 

So with ripple control would they control whole suburbs with a single motor, or would they need one motor for every, say, 100 lights?

Just wondering why it only affected all the lights in my street and none of the surrounding streets.


Yes it is possible to control a whole suburb, but a single failure could me a whole suburb without street lights, its eaiser to use a number of more local daylight switches, that way when it actually gets dark they turn on, when it is actually light enough they turn off, no other form of control is needed.

 
 
 
 




1784 posts

Uber Geek


  # 923693 29-Oct-2013 17:38
Send private message

gregmcc: Yes it is possible to control a whole suburb, but a single failure could me a whole suburb without street lights, its eaiser to use a number of more local daylight switches, that way when it actually gets dark they turn on, when it is actually light enough they turn off, no other form of control is needed.


So these ripple control motors would be located all over the place, in some sort of street-side cabinet?  Or would the motors be housed centrally with lines going out to groups of street lights?

1725 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 923701 29-Oct-2013 17:55
One person supports this post
Send private message

The ripple control (for hot water cylinders) will be located at substations and if it is used for street lighting control also at the substation, but usually street lights use the daylight switches, these are more unobtrusive and can be located in more local street side cabinets, they may control as little as one light or several streets, that way if one fails to come on or go off it's not a too major problem

5090 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 923713 29-Oct-2013 18:33
One person supports this post
Send private message

MurrayM:
ubergeeknz: It just means someone forgot to set the switch to "More Magic"

When I was a kid I used to think that someone had a job to turn the street lights on and off. They would sit in an office somewhere and control all the lights in Auckland! 


Ubergeeknz of course refers to this.




iPad Pro 11" + iPhone XS + 2degrees 4tw!

 

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


5090 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 923720 29-Oct-2013 18:41
One person supports this post
Send private message

When I did my electrical engineering degree, we had to do two semesters of the TAFE electrician's course practicals. We were a little annoyed to find that they had changed the rules the year before: the class one year senior to us could actually get their ticket on top of their degree. We would have had to to do an apprenticeship as well. But I digress...

One Thursday morning we walked into the practical room and someone turned on the lights as they walked in. A second or so after that, one of the starter caps burned out with a little bit of fireworks and then the lights went off.

In our practical class we had not only we Electrical Engineering students, but also the Bachelor of Technology students, whom we often described as 'electrical engineering for people who can't count.'

One of the B. Tech students, E, says 'Hey, why did the lights go out?'
Salty: 'Oh, the starter cap over there blew.'
E: 'Yeah, but why did the lights go out?'
Salty (frowning): '...Because the fuse blew?'
E: 'Yeah, but why did the *other* lights go out?'
Salty, pointing at the switchboard and speaking slooooowly: 'E, do you see that box on the wall over there?'
E: 'Yeah'
Salty: 'Well, inside that box is a little man. When one of the lights goes out because of a problem, he turns off all the other lights too.'
E: ಠ_ಠ

/CSB




iPad Pro 11" + iPhone XS + 2degrees 4tw!

 

These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.


13451 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Lifetime subscriber

  # 923724 29-Oct-2013 18:46
Send private message

You have a council that provides street lighting? Nice.





6975 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  # 923726 29-Oct-2013 18:49
One person supports this post
Send private message

Yeah just to help the original poster, street lights are grouped into circuits and there is an on/off switch that controls that group of lights. The switch to each group of lights can be one of a range of options, such as light sensors, timers or via the output of a central control system.  Most street lights are lights only, they don't have daylight sensors on each lamp.  There will be a switching point somewhere along the circuit.

Timers are bad as the on/off times change rapidly throughout the year, not just with day light savings either. It gets dark at different times as the seasons change.

So anyway, just thought I'd try to clear that one up for you. That's what they are all on at the same time, because they are grouped together and all switched on or off at one place. If they're on during the day, it's either a switch fault, a sensor fault or on for a reason, for fault finding purposes etc. It's usually one of those scenarios.

1281 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted

  # 923738 29-Oct-2013 18:55
Send private message

I remember when I was young we lived in a small culdesac on the shore, which had one streetlight, with an optical sensor. So when we were Spotlight or Go Home Stay Home at night, you could stand and shine your torch into the sensor for a minute or two and the streetlight would turn off! Great fun.

Cheers,
Joseph

2092 posts

Uber Geek


  # 923756 29-Oct-2013 19:35
2 people support this post
Send private message

There is a set of equipment at a switching station - there is a standard 42U rack there with a keypad and display. You can key a code into that to turn specific zones off and on. It makes an awesome thunking sound when you do it.

The control of this is also tied into the SCADA system - this is operated by a control room which can turn zones on and off as required from a computer screen.

The automatic turning off and on is controlled by a combination of light sensors and clocks - which adjust for daylight savings. The light sensors are in various locations around the place, not on every streetlight. Time is synchronised to a GPS NTP source.

I am sure I'm missing some details but that's all I can remember.

source: I worked on the SCADA system and got the tour of the equipment

 1 | 2 | 3
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Chorus to launch Hyperfibre service
Posted 18-Nov-2019 15:00


Microsoft launches first Experience Center worldwide for Asia Pacific in Singapore
Posted 13-Nov-2019 13:08


Disney+ comes to LG Smart TVs
Posted 13-Nov-2019 12:55


Spark launches new wireless broadband "Unplan Metro"
Posted 11-Nov-2019 08:19


Malwarebytes overhauls flagship product with new UI, faster engine and lighter footprint
Posted 6-Nov-2019 11:48


CarbonClick launches into Digital Marketplaces
Posted 6-Nov-2019 11:42


Kordia offers Microsoft Azure Peering Service
Posted 6-Nov-2019 11:41


Spark 5G live on Auckland Harbour for Emirates Team New Zealand
Posted 4-Nov-2019 17:30


BNZ and Vodafone partner to boost NZ Tech for SME
Posted 31-Oct-2019 17:14


Nokia 7.2 available in New Zealand
Posted 31-Oct-2019 16:24


2talk launches Microsoft Teams Direct Routing product
Posted 29-Oct-2019 10:35


New Breast Cancer Foundation app puts power in Kiwi women's hands
Posted 25-Oct-2019 16:13


OPPO Reno2 Series lands, alongside hybrid noise-cancelling Wireless Headphones
Posted 24-Oct-2019 15:32


Waikato Data Scientists awarded $13 million from the Government
Posted 24-Oct-2019 15:27


D-Link launches Wave 2 Unified Access Points
Posted 24-Oct-2019 15:07



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.