Street Smarts Lacking in London

Street Smarts Lacking in London

More than 14,000 street lights in London have finally been turned off after blazing away for 24 hours a day for three months. In the absence of the controls manufacturer Harvard Technology, which has gone into administration, the sophisticated control system proved too sophisticated for outsiders to operate.

Small fee

The local authority hired a specialist firm and came to an agreement with the administrator “which included a small fee” to get the lights off. A City of Westminster spokesman announced: “We’re delighted to report that the lights have been switched off.” However, Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg has requested an explanation as to “why it has taken the council nearly three months to fix this serious problem”.


The lighting system uses wireless nodes to communicate with a central hub and is called LeafNut. The lights using the system were installed in 2011 and 2012 when the system was state-of-the-art. Unfortunately, one of the reasons for the manufacturer’s demise is hinted at in a creditor’s report which talks about “competition from other component manufacturers”. Presumably the system is no longer state-of-the-art. It certainly isn’t easy to switch off.

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