Eindhoven Has Bold Plans For Smart LED Integration

Imagine a city centre where street lights are not only smart, for example turning themselves off when nobody is there, but also providing atmosphere, changing colour according to residents’ preferences or special festivities. That city already exists (almost). On Friday, Dutch city Eindhoven will introduce a city-lighting system that’s both sustainable and fun.

On 14 March, Eindhoven will switch on its first batch of computer-controlled LED lights. “All the lights contain colour, though that doesn’t mean that we’re creating completely blue streets or anything like that”, says Serge van den Berg of the energy sustainability firm Het Energie Bureau, who’s in charge of the light installation. “But we’re adding a bit of green and blue to enhance residents’ feeling of well-being.”

The setup also means the street lanterns can be adapted to fit the weather, even flashing red to warn residents of approaching storms or floods. But they can also be remotely adjusted – using wireless technology – down to areas as small as a street or a corner of a city square in order to provide a particular ambience to that area. An Italian restaurant will, for example, be able to adjust the street lanterns around it to create a more Italian atmosphere, and residents will be able to decide their respective streets’ illumination look, initially for a couple of hours each night. “Residents are the real customers of light, and we tend to forget that”, explains van den Berg. “A sustainable environment is one that’s not just energy-efficient but also one where people enjoy being.”

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13 Mar