Public lighting: between economy and ecology
Night falls and street lamps turn on… This seems simple and natural, so natural that we only pay attention when they don’t work well. And yet, public lighting and its optimization are a major factor in the attractiveness, security, and economy of municipalities.
Do you know that street lamps in France are on average 35 years old but were designed for 20 years of use? Once these lamps are worn out they become an energy drain. If we factor in the 30% rise in electricity prices over the past three years, the impact of public lighting on city finances is significant: On average, it represents 40 % of the electricity budget.
Public lighting, a factor for the attractiveness of cities
Appropriate electricity consumption is far from being the only issue for public lighting, as it also influences the attractiveness of municipalities. Well-lit streets and highlighted monuments contribute to the dynamism of a city and reinforce the sense of security. They can even become a factor for economic development: light trails, festival illumination, and other lighting can all draw new visitors, as in the International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire.
Finally, well-designed lighting influences its surroundings. For example, do you know that the shape of a lamp affects its light output and can thus help reduce obtrusive lighting? In addition to aesthetic differences, the shape of a lamp influences the quality of lighting: By illuminating more or less of an area, or by emitting light pollution like globe-style street lamps.
More surprisingly, the urban lighting network can serve (if it is powered continuously) to provide electricity independent of lighting for other equipment or even more to transmit data via the electricity cable (street sound broadcasts, CCTV, traffic information…).
VINCI Energies illuminates cities
In this way, Marseille, Cergy-Pontoise, Lille, Felbach, as well as Bilbao have entrusted VINCI Energies with management of their public lighting. In some of these cities monuments have been enhanced by lighting, such as the Montparnasse Tower, the banks of the Ill in Strasbourg, and Fort Saint Jean in Marseille. Finally, during the Christmas season, the Group installs festival illuminations in the city centres.
Xavier Albouy, director of Citeos, the urban lighting and equipment brand of VINCI Energies.
“Our expertise responds to cities’ expectations and needs to enhance their night-time environment, to make it safer, more comfortable, more attractive, more dynamic, and more energyefficient,”
What are LEDs?
Reputed for their energy efficiency, LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are increasingly being used for different lighting applications. These include stage lighting, architectural lighting, walkways, and now even urban roadways.