Danish project works to light cities energy-efficiently

World Today

A Danish project is working to ensure the world’s cities use more-efficient street lighting. The Danish Outdoor Lighting lab is leading the mission. CCTV America’s Malcolm Brabant reported the story from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Scientists estimate that 20 percent of all the world’s energy is spent on light, especially on illuminating towns and cities. Even in a technologically advanced country like Denmark, many of the street lamps are antiquated and energy inefficient.

However, Copenhagen offers a glimpse of how our urban landscapes may look at night time in the future. Light is triggered by a car moving towards the lamp post.

Danish project works to light world cities with energy-efficiency

A Danish project is working to ensure the world's cities use more-efficient street lighting. The Danish Outdoor Lighting lab is leading the mission. CCTV America's Malcolm Brabant reported the story from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Examples of the most advanced street lighting systems in the world have been rigged up in a small industrial park on the outskirts of Copenhagen so that city planners can contrast, compare, and choose the best performers for their municipalities.

“When you go from a traditional lighting system to an LED lighting system you can save 50 percent,” Kim Brostrom, chief technical officer of the Danish Lighting Lab, said. “So you can have a really large amount of energy saving. If you do it in an intelligent way so you manage each light post then you can take the rest of your energy consumption and save 50 percent of that. So you will have 75 or 80 percent saving of energy.”

Some of the most advanced lamp posts in the laboratory could potentially do even better. These experimental systems are covered in solar panels, and are designed to be completely energy self sufficient.

Denmark is short on sunshine during the long winter months and scientists want to see whether these lamps will function properly in the darker northern hemisphere. The most popular systems appear to be the motion sensor systems which power down when people or vehicles aren’t close by.

“For the developing countries it’s enormous potential of energy saving, because they need to focus on taking down their carbon footprint. And just to install the motion sensors and the LEDs give us a lot of savings,” Mikkel Ferm, Nordic Director for the Zumtobel Group, said.

Copenhagen wants to be carbon neutral by the year 2025. To achieve that, Denmark needs to change 200,000 lampposts by next year. Other cities and countries are in a similar position.