An AI street lighting system that can reduce electricity costs, malfunctioning delays

Each street light is powered by a self-orienting solar panel

1965836539 Representational image

It did not take Jyotindra Lillaney long to realise the importance of streetlights, but, at the same time, he was shocked by the amount of electricity wastage. A student from Aditya Birla World Academy, Lillaney dreams of a sustainable future, and he is dedicated to creating impact in the environment through technology.

One of his sustainable ventures is Light Link, an automated smart street lighting system that uses solar panels, deep learning and an app to help the government cut down on electricity costs and malfunctioning delays. “This idea stemmed from the fact that presently, the street lights are uneconomically used from 7pm in the evening to 6am the next morning, each and every day. This makes them extremely maintenance-heavy and costly for the government. Furthermore, the street lights do not have any varying levels of light intensity, rather only a binary on-off setting. In addition, the replacement of a faulty street light is a very tedious process, and does not take place unless of a citizen’s complaint,” he said.

These smart street lights, accompanied by cameras with image processing capability, use deep learning to sense objects in the surrounding. This information, in addition to the amount of sunlight present in the surrounding, automatically controls whether that street light is switched on/off and if on, to what value of intensity it is set according to the number of vehicles detected and their distance from the street light. Each street light is powered by a self-orienting solar panel, which rotate in the direction of maximum sunlight. This process is also connected to a mobile app which displays all real-time information and street light statuses. In case of a malfunctioning street light, a notification is sent to the government with a location of the street light and details of the malfunctioning component. The government can then send technicians for quick repairs.

Jyotindra Lillaney Jyotindra Lillaney

Endorsed by the Secretary General of Angola-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry and recognised by several Indian ministers, this project is currently in the scaling process. Lillaney is currently in talks with governments in Africa as well as municipal corporations in India to implement a pilot project. He will then test its application in the real world, which will then eventually lead to large-scale implementation.

His another initiative is SustainableX, a non-profit organisation working constantly to provide sustainable products for the betterment of individual and society at large. The profit gathered from sale is given completely to the men and women manufacturing these products, located in Dharavi, India.

“I started SustainableX after being inspired by the exceptional craftsmen and leather-workers at Dharavi, and realised that they weren’t getting the recognition or the income that they deserved. After motivating them to switch to sustainable product designs, SustainableX provided a platform for sale of their products, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going back to the manufacturers in Dharavi.”

In the long run, Lillaney hopes to transfer this organisation to the workers themselves, thus impacting a community of talented individuals that is slowly dying due to unfortunate circumstances. SustainableX has also established a 5-factor sustainability scale in the selection of their products, which ensures that only truly sustainable products are sold.

The company's aim is to create an environmental friendly earth where humanity gets equal chances to follow their passion and dreams. Even though Dharavi is known as Asia's biggest slum, the exemplary artistry present and the hardworking dwellers of the slum create some of the world's finest products with the sheer dexterity of their hands. The products are handcrafted. Use of machinery is restricted to sewing machines and bare essentials. The concept is to use the highly skilled and talented workforce in the handicrafts cottage industry of India. Environment friendly and sustainable raw materials are used to produce beautiful handcrafted products like bags, shoes, belts etc. The goal of SustainableX is to make sustainable products from karigars staying in the slums of Dharavi, market them and share the profits with them to effectively make a difference in their quality of life.

Lillaney wanted to impact the grassroots and was motivated to bring about a change in the life of farmers in India. This is why he designed Floracity, an automated sustainable plant terrarium that optimises the most important aspects of plant growth—temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and artificial lighting. During a visit to the village of Pansheet, Pune, a few years ago, he was introduced to the plight of farmers of India. Even though agriculture is responsible for some 50 per cent of the Indian workforce’s livelihood, it suffers from innumerable problems such as insufficient water, dry soil and soil erosion, inadequate storage facilities, and untimely seasons. These problems result in falling crop yield and revenues for farmers. Lillaney said that he was determined to solve these problems, and designed Floracity to help farmers across the world.

Floracity is a closed glass set-up that utilises sensors that measure the temperature, humidity, soil moisture, and lighting of the plant’s environment. These parameters have set thresholds, which are maintained using resultant processes. If the humidity is lower than optimum, a humidifier is automatically activated which brings the humidity to the optimum level. On the other hand, if the humidity is higher, then a window located at the top of the set-up automatically opens, balancing humidity inside and outside the terrarium. Soil moisture is kept at the desired level by using an automatic pump that waters the plant when needed. The innovative concept of aquaponics is used, through which fish waste is used as nutrients in order to improve plant growth. Next, if the lighting is lower than adequate, then the alternate blue and red LEDs are automatically switched on, and provide artificial lighting closest to natural sunlight to the plant. This whole set-up is integrated using a Bluetooth app that shows the plant status and can be used to manually control any of the processes.

This has been implemented in a field at Pansheet and is providing much higher yield in the area, thus improving the lifestyle of farmers in the region. When asked on his future plans for Floracity, Lillaney said that he hopes that more farmers across India are able to benefit from this set-up, and for this he hopes that governments and NGOs will help subsidise the cost of Floracity units for farmers.