Danes upgrading outdoor lights with intelligent lighting

Some 200,000 street lights to be replaced over the next five years

In order to improve traffic safety, save energy and money, and protect the environment, Denmark has decided to replace the nation’s outdoor lights, many of which are old and fail to live up to EU environmental regulations.

Over the next five years, around 200,000 street lights will be replaced in Denmark, and in Copenhagen alone, it will cost the state 266 million kroner to upgrade some 20,000 outdoor lights on roads, bicycle paths and in parks.

“We’ve already started replacing them,” Thomas Maare, a lighting co-ordinator at the City Council, told Politiken newspaper.

“The new lights are better for the environment, the economy and the citizens. The old lights, which are being replaced, have been there for 25 to 30 years, so it’s about time we changed them.”

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Lighting that can be regulated
The obsolete mercury and high pressure sodium fixtures will be replaced with the far more effective LED lights, which are expected to save the council 70 percent on its energy bill. It will also help the capital reduce its CO2 emissions by the targeted 20 percent by the end of 2014.

The newest LED bulbs can last 100,000 hours, almost ten times as long as the old bulbs. And the new lights will be fitted with intelligent lighting systems, allowing them to be remotely controlled and regulated.

Small cameras are mounted on the street lights that register if cars or people are approaching, thus brightening the lights ahead of traffic, while the lights slowly fade again once the traffic has passed.

EU wants its member states to phase out all mercury-based bulbs by the end of 2015.