PLUS: An EU Vision on Urban Lighting & LEDs

The PLUS (Public Lighting Strategies for Sustainable Urban Spaces) project, which has conducted a detailed analysis of existing urban lighting practices and upcoming projects in the 11 PLUS partner cities across Europe, presented its first conclusions on lighting technology innovations, specifically LEDs as a solution for energy-efficient public lighting strategies. PLUS conducted the LED Lighting Strategies for Urban Spaces conference during the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2012 in Brussels.

The PLUS project, which aims to help cities develop and implement sustainable lighting strategies, concluded that LEDs have indeed evolved as a potential solution for some of the lighting challenges that cities face today (energy efficiency, CO2 reduction, diminishing budgets, light pollution, etc.), but not on all levels and not for all contexts. “With their high energy efficiency, longer life span and increased flexibility, LEDs are often proclaimed as the urban lighting solution of the future. However, through our Deep Dive analysis of the cities that have implemented this technology, project lighting experts have come to the conclusion that while LEDs are appropriate in particular contexts for some cities, the high investment costs involved and the rapid technological evolution means that they might not be the best answer for all cities at the moment,” said Rik van Stiphout, PLUS Overall Project Manager, who is also the Programme Manager Lighting in the City of Eindhoven, lead partner of the PLUS project.

PLUS maintains that though LEDs are not the only cost efficient solution for cities at the moment, they do bring new visions for structuring and boosting public lighting systems. “LED is a new promising technology, but not the only appropriate lighting solution or a strategy in itself. What is also required are visionary and innovative city lighting strategies that respond to urban nighttime requirements and problems. New technologies such as LED can help by offering a new set of possibilities and opportunities,” added van Stiphout.

The conference, organized by PLUS, brought together the knowledge on the use of LEDs in outdoor lighting. Several conference presentations are available for free download:

The JRC activities on LEDs in the context of EU LED policy by Michel Quicheron, European Commission – DG Joint Research Centre (JRC)

The first results of the PLUS Project LED as a solution for Energy Efficient public lighting strategies – First outcomes of the PLUS Project based on a Deep Dive analysis in various cities that have installed LEDs by Rik van Stiphout, City of Eindhoven – Project Director PLUS project

LED – Light in Public spaces by Jan Ejhed, Professor at University of Kalmar (Sweden) and lighting designer, former president of PLDA

Better Lighting in Sustainable Streets (BLISS): Case Study – St Helens College: AURORALIA Award 2011 by Mark Davies, Principal Engineer at Mouchel (UK based consulting and business services Group)

The SSL Green Paper and its follow ups – an on-going process and the future perspectives by Michael Ziegler - European Commission, DG INFSO, Photonics Unit

About PLUS

Public Lighting Strategies for Sustainable Urban Spaces launched in October 2010, financed by the EU’s INTERREG IVC program, to capitalize on existing urban lighting best practices in European cities. The project aims to help cities develop their lighting policies and strategies in order to implement energy efficient lighting solutions.

PLUS partners

  • Lead Partner: Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
  • Bassano del Grappa (Italy)
  • Birmingham (UK)
  • Burgos (Spain)
  • Iasi (Romania)
  • Leipzig (Germany)
  • Lyon (France)
  • Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur (France)
  • Patras (Greece)
  • Sofia (Bulgaria)
  • Tallinn (Estonia)
  • LUCI (Lighting Urban Community International)

Programme: INTERREG IV C; Total budget: 1 689 508 Euros; Duration: October 2010 to December 2012