Streetwise LED lighting


VTT has developed a dimmable LED street light that consumes significantly less energy than current lighting systems, while improving lighting characteristics.

Traditional street lights work at full power when turned on, usually with no adjustment available for the amount of light. The new LED street lights developed by VTT adapt to the ambient conditions with the help of sensors and wireless control, allowing them to be dimmed on the basis of natural light and environmental conditions, such as light reflected from snow, and the number of road users. In order to maintain comfort, the street lights also take into consideration several characteristics important to road users, such as the amount and colour of light and the shape of the light beam. The design of light distribution paid particular attention to glare control, evenness of lighting and adequate illumination of road shoulders.

The intelligent street lighting system stores information on temperature, lighting level, the number of pedestrians and cyclists, and energy consumption, among others. Laboratory measurements show that without sensors the new LED street light is up to 50 per cent more energy-efficient than traditional lights on the market. An additional energy saving potential of 40 per cent has been observed with added intelligence adjusting lighting levels according to the number of users or to natural conditions.

The street lights were tested along a road in Malminkartano, Helsinki, where initially a total of 20 reference street lights were installed. These represented five different luminaires on the market, comprising LED lighting and traditional high-pressure sodium and metal halide lamps. Aalto University carried out a survey among people using the area's roads, leading to VTT's development of the demo street light. Demo lights were installed at the end of 2012 as an extension of the first test installation, after which Aalto University carried out another survey on the experiences of the people using the area. VTT's demo street light received the best feedback in the survey.

The AthLEDics project, funded by Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, research institutes and companies, is implemented by VTT and Aalto University, partnered by Alppilux, Helsingin Energia, the City of Helsinki, the City of Jyväskylä, Enerpoint, Ensto Finland, Hella Lighting Finland, Helvar, Herrmans, LumiChip, MTG-Meltron, Oplatek, Sabik, Senate Properties, Valopaa and YIT.

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