Design Guidelines for LED Street Lighting in Smart Cities

Design Guidelines for LED Street Lighting in Smart Cities

Can you imagine what your city would be like if not equipped with street lighting? In a smart city, street lighting plays a crucial role in creating an attractive and safe environment. Due to its energy efficiency and long lifespan, LED street lighting provides an efficient, safe and sustainable solution for smart cities. Effective street lighting can provide motorists and pedestrians with an appropriate lighting level to keep them safe. On the contrary, poor street lighting has a major impact on the safety of pedestrians and drivers while increasing the public expenditure on smart city construction.

This article will mainly describe the significant advantages of LED street lighting over traditional lighting and the main aspects to consider when designing an effective street lighting system to help create an even brighter future for smart cities.

General introduction to LED street light


LED street lights are mainly composed of lighting elements that serve as LED light sources to illuminate streets and roads. Some manufacturers and suppliers also call LED street lights as LED road lighting fixtures.

The LED street light includes a housing, a heat sink, an LED PCB board, an LED module as a light source, an LED driver that provides constant current, an optical lens for changing the light distribution, and tempered glass as an optical cover.

With good thermal management of the heat sink, LED street lights can work well for decades without any problems. Another crucial part of the fixture is the LED driver. In order to ensure a long lifespan of the entire LED luminaire, the LED driver used in the fixture should also be durable and have a long service life.

We typically use asymmetric PC optical lenses to cover the LED road lighting fixture. This lens distributes light at a wide angle in the horizontal direction and at a narrow angle in the vertical direction, which results in an even distribution of light on the road surface.


Compared with previous lighting technologies, LED street lights can save 30% to 70% of energy. Additionally, LED street lights are more durable and typically they can perform well for decades without any maintenance.

The return on investment of today’s LED street lights is generally five years or less. Although the initial purchase cost is a bit high, the annual savings in electricity bills suffice to bear the cost from the moment we start using LED street lights.

We can choose the color temperatures of LED street lights in the range from 2200K to 6500K. Also, we can adjust the color temperature of LED fixtures to warm white, natural white and cold white according to customer needs and specific scenarios.

Status quo

The world’s tendency is that streets and roads in numerous countries are beginning to turn into LED lighting. As this shift accelerates, traditional lighting fixtures are projected to be thoroughly phased out in the near future.

In order to meet the needs of road lighting, a variety of LED lighting fixtures with power ranging from 30W to 300W have appeared on the market.

We can commonly see LED street lights in many places such as urban roads, rural trails, expressways, the exteriors of the building, parking lots, airports, gas stations, etc.

The minimum protection level of LED street lights must reach IP65, since they are used outdoors. Street lighting must be certified by a third-party laboratory and comply with the international standard EN-60598-2-3.

Types of LED street lighting

Depending on different heat sinks, there are two common designs for LED street lights: modular design and full die-casting aluminum design. LED street lights with modular designs are advantageous for easy replacement and excellent thermal management. In recent years, however, street lights with fully die-casting aluminum designs have become more and more popular.

According to different types of LED chips, the assembly method of LED street lights can be SMD or COB. SMD stands for “Surface Mount Device” LEDs which are the most popular type of LEDs on the market. COB LED refers to the “Chip On Board” LED, which consists of many LED chips tightly packed together to form a lighting module that looks like a panel when turned on. Most of MOKOLight LED lighting fixtures use SMD since SMD is more efficient and reliable than COB based on our understanding.

Application of LED street lighting

Application of LED street lighting

We can apply LED street lights to a variety of environments.

  • To ensure safety, extra lighting is required for primary roads, secondary roads and highways. The lighting level for these roads is generally from M1 to M6.
  • For the applications such as pedestrian streets, bikeways, emergency lanes and residential roads, the lighting classis normally from P1 to P6.
  • Otherexterior lighting applications such as school playgrounds, parking lots, city squares, outside of factory exteriors, etc.

For these application areas, you can communicate your design ideas with us to develop a lighting design that meets your specific requirements.

Unique benefits of LED street lighting

Save costs

Street lighting accounts for up to 40% of a city’s electricity bill, and switching to LEDs can save 50% of energy costs for smart cities. In addition, compared to traditional outdoor lighting options, LEDs last 2 to 5 times longer, which means far less maintenance, thereby greatly reducing operating costs. With energy savings and reduced maintenance costs, switching to LEDs is a smart move for any city that aspires to be smart.

Less toxic & environmental protection

LED street lights are kind to the environment and become a sustainable lighting solution because they contain fewer toxic elements. LED street lights do not contain any toxic chemicals such as mercury and lead, which usually exist in gas discharge lamps such as high-pressure sodium lamps. LEDs can be recycled after being discarded, which significantly reduces landfill and bulb disposal costs, thereby reducing carbon footprint. So LED doesn’t have that much negative effect on the environment.

Moreover, the LED street light can reach full brightness instantly as soon as turned on, and the rays of its light will not attract bugs. All MOKOLight LED lights comply with EU RoHS requirements, so you can rest assured to use our products.

Enhance security

A well-lit smart city can create a secure living atmosphere for residents and therefore increase public satisfaction. LED street lights with cameras can effectively reduce the criminal behaviors of residents, thereby enhancing the public safety of the city.

Smart lighting control

The smart lighting control system is a remote management solution that allows us to instantly control street lights anytime or anywhere. This means that the light can automatically adjust its lighting level depending on the environmental conditions. According to studies, LED street lights with intelligent control systems can lead to the maximized lifespan of lights and minimal maintenance costs. What’s more, it can save up to 80% of energy for the city while delivering higher safety benefits for citizens.

It’s worth noting that the adjusted brightness should also meet the corresponding illuminance standards. For example, general road lighting needs to meet M3 requirements, however at midnight when there are fewer vehicles, the illuminance standards may decrease to M5.

Design technology of LED street light

Design technology of LED street light

LED street light thermal design

The heat sink of the LED street light should be rationally designed in terms of their shape, size and cooling area. A heat sink that is too small will lead to the high operating temperature of LED lights, thereby affecting the luminous efficiency and service life of the lamp. In addition, a rational LED heat sink design helps reduce material consumption, thereby reducing production costs and enhancing product competitiveness. It turns out that LED junction temperature control affects the lifespan of LEDs. To guarantee 100,000 hours of service life, MOKOLight controls the LED junction temperature under 75°C and the heat sink temperature below 2°C to ensure that all LED lights reach the same lifespan.

LED street light output design

LED street lighting must comply with the corresponding road lighting specifications, more specifically, the uniformity and glare level of street lighting should meet the road lighting standards. In addition, ensuring that the light output is distributed over a large area is critical. Since a certain length of road needs to install street lights, you need to apply more street lights to meet the road specifications and avoid zebra crossing lighting. Thanks to the use of PC material and high-strength tempered glass cover, the optical lens can clean by itself once there is dust on it. Conforming with the general standards also solve the problem of troublesome maintenance caused by versatility.

LED street light appearance design

The appearance design of LED street lights is critical because they are exposed to the outdoors where they have to endure various harsh environmental conditions. The exterior designs of most LED street lights adopt a streamlined design to avoid water and dust accumulation as well as easy cleaning. When you are choosing LED lights, the waterproofing performance is one of the factors to consider. In order to enhance the anti-aging and anti-corrosion ability of the lamp, we often apply powder coating on the exterior of the heat sink.

LED street light power supply design

Solving the problem of the non-uniform current on each LED is another critical design because each LED exists a little different voltage. Even though every street light power supplier boasts that their power supply is constant current output, the actual current after testing is quite different from it. So LED lights will have different currents even if you use a constant current design because the voltage of each LED is not the same. Unlike other manufacturers’ designs, MOKOLight adopts the multi-channel circuit design, which will not affect the constant current of LED lights even with the varied LED voltage.

LED street light installation

We should regard the installation of LED street lights as part of the overall road planning from the outset. We should consider both aesthetics and light pollution when designing and installing LED street lights. Also, we should consider the specific types of lighting applicable for different road environments.

In normal cases, LED street lighting is suitable for highway lighting, but it goes far beyond that. The relationship between the installation height and wattage of the street light is proportional, that is, the higher the installation height, the greater wattage required. As different road lighting requires different installation heights and wattages, the design of LED street light poles will vary accordingly.

Top LED Street Light Manufacturer in China – MOKOLight

As I’ve mentioned above, LED street lights can deliver various benefits such as lowered maintenance costs, reduced light pollution and enhanced public safety and environmentally friendly practices. This ultimately leads to more and more cities adopting LED street lights as a lighting solution for the outdoors. The future of smart cities looks bright thanks to the impressive benefits of LED street lighting.

MOKOLight is very confident in its LED street lighting products as it utilizes the most cutting-edge innovative technology to design and implement LED street lighting solutions. MOKOLight LED street lights featured with precise optical road lighting distribution can meet a variety of road lighting needs. Want to find more about LED upgrades and choose suitable LED street lights for your project? Get in touch with MOKOLight – a leading LED lighting manufacturer in China. We will be on hand to provide and share knowledge about LED lighting with you.

Read more about LED street lights!

Written by ——
Sushant Kulkarni
Sushant Kulkarni
9+ years of experience in implementing and debugging elector-mechanical systems, successfully leading multidisciplinary engineering teams and completing projects. Reach Me Now>>
Sushant Kulkarni
Sushant Kulkarni
9+ years of experience in implementing and debugging elector-mechanical systems, successfully leading multidisciplinary engineering teams and completing projects. Reach Me Now>>
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