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Lighting in Public Areas

We have selected three concepts relating to lighting in public areas: LED lighting, the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), and ‘presence detection’. All demonstrate how Dutch companies can offer significant added value on the international markets.


1. LED lighting
LED stands for Light Emitting Diode: a semi-conductor which is, in essence, a chip containing a very thin filament. When a small electrical charge is passed through the filament, light is produced. Various colours, shades (known technically as light ‘temperatures’), and light intensities are possible. LEDs have been used in household electrical equipment and cars for many years. Their extremely small size makes them suitable for countless other applications, including signage, roadside markings, and street lighting. Although fittings and the LED lamps themselves have seen great advances in recent years, there are further opportunities to improve light output and reduce maintenance and replacement costs.

Public areas have to be well-lit in the interests of (road) safety. The Equinox street lamps developed by Philips do not have conventional light bulbs or fluorescent tubes: they rely on high-power LEDs. The Equinox is ideal for lighting pedestrian areas and parks. Aro Electronics has recently introduced its Intelligent Tunnel Lighting System, an ingenious lighting solution which provides low-maintenance road illumination for a minimum of fifteen years.


Koopman has recently introduced an intelligent lamp know as the All-Eco LED lamp. The manufacturer states that it has a working life of 50,000 hours. It is identical in appearance to a conventional light bulb, but its energy consumption is less than 1 Watt. There is no warm-up time.


2. Compact fluorescent lamps
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), also known as ‘energy saving lights’, continue to grow in popularity. They present a simple way of reducing energy consumption, and hence of saving money. The average CFL costs €7.30 to buy and has a light output of 52 lumen  per Watt. The output of a conventional (incandescent) light bulb is approximately 13 lumen per Watt. Moreover, a CFL will last many years without having to be replaced. On average, using a CFL will save €4.25 a year, whereupon the initial investment will be recouped within two years. However, there is no such thing as the ‘average’ CFL or ‘average’ usage: an inexpensive CFL could pay for itself within three months. The international replacement market presents major opportunities, not least due to energy-reduction programmes and mandatory measures applying to both industry and private consumers. Argentina, for example, is promoting the use of CFLs and is to distribute five million CFLs free of charge. In the second phase of the programme, a further twenty million CFLs are to be offered to consumers at subsidized prices.


3. Presence detectors
Presence detectors are a cost-effective solution for areas of transient occupancy such as school classrooms, offices, toilets, etc. Often, no one feels responsible for turning off the lights when leaving the room, even if it is unlikely to be used by anyone else in the near future. In schools, for example, there is often a peak in lighting usage on a Friday afternoon when the cleaners turn on all the lights. Presence detectors would be particularly useful in this situation, greatly reducing energy consumption.


Unique Selling Points

LED lighting
• A LED system of appropriate quality makes it possible to illuminate an area very efficiently; the light is directional and cast only where it is needed.
• The lighting radius of a fitting such as a lamppost determines how many of those fittings must be purchased, installed, and maintained in a given area. The lighting angle of some modern LED fittings makes it possible to achieve the same lighting effect with 25% fewer lampposts. Clearly, if lampposts can be spaced more widely apart, a significant saving on purchase, installation and maintenance costs can be achieved.
• Some LED lamps (including the Philips Equinox) have an extremely long service life of 50,000 hours, which is the equivalent of 12.5 years assuming daily usage during the hours of darkness. This is three or four times longer than the average lifetime of conventional solutions.
• Philips’ Equinox lamppost has a modern, architectural design. The uprights are extremely slender and have a square footprint and apex. The warm colour temperature of the lamps themselves (2,700 K to 4,000 K) creates a hospitable ambience which encourages social interaction in the urban environment.
• Aro Electronics’ Intelligent Tunnel Lighting System is virtually maintenance-free, ensuring little or no disruption to traffic.
• The Intelligent Tunnel Lighting System represents a reduction in energy consumption of between 40% and 80% compared to conventional solutions.


• CFLs account for significantly lower energy consumption than the conventional incandescent bulb. A CFL produces some five or six times more light per Watt. A 60 W bulb can therefore be replaced by 11W CFL with little or no perceivable difference in light output.
• A CFL has a service life of some 6,000 to 10,000 hours, far longer than that of the conventional bulb which must be replaced after only 1,000 to 1,500 hours.


Presence detectors
• Installation costs are relatively low; the system relies on sensors on the light fittings themselves, whereby there is no need to install switches or run cable connections between the switches and the lights.
• Philips estimates that energy consumption can be cut by at least 25%.


Climate impact
• LED lighting can reduce energy consumption by some 30% to 80% compared to conventional solutions.
• LED lighting accounts for 40% less CO2 emission than conventional solutions.
• An 8 Watt CFL accounts for 52 kg CO2 emissions during its lifetime. The equivalent 40 Watt incandescent bulb accounts for 258 kg.


Companies and research institutes involved
Aro Electronics, Kaal Masten, Koopman, Lemnis Lighting, Omron, and Phillips Lighting* (NB This list is not comprehensive)


Best practice reference projects in the Netherlands
• Ede has become the first local authority in the world to install LED lampposts to provide street lighting.
• A bridge on the High-Tech Campus in Eindhoven has been fitted with LED lighting. The standard street lighting is now ‘surplus to requirements’.
• A trial project is being conducted in Apeldoorn.


Possible obstacles to international business
• For schools and office buildings, there is as yet no LED solution available at an acceptable price-quality ratio. Conventional fluorescent lighting continues to offer ample light for little money.
• Lack of knowledge concerning the total cost of ownership and payback period.


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