The city of Eindhoven tests smart public lighting
They look like flying saucers, or a kind of floating pebbles – the two new light fixtures that will be hanging as a test on Stratumseind and Demer in Eindhoven from June 2022. It is the smart lighting for public space that the municipality of Eindhoven wants to use in the entire city center. The light color and intensity of the LED lamps in the luminaires can change according to needs and thus increase the atmosphere and safety.
In a city centre, the need for light often changes: from not too pronounced on weekdays, pleasant around drinks time to downright festive on evenings out and during events. Is it closing time? More light. Will it be night? Then it can all be a little less. In order to do justice to all these differences, a new lighting system has been developed together with the Eindhoven lighting design agency Het Lux Lab: ‘Intelligent Light System Eindhoven’ (ILSE). After an intensive development process, the municipality is now going to test the technical aspects of the innovative system.
The Lux Lab has developed new fixtures for the system, called pebbles , because their shape resembles pebbles. They are 3D printed from PET granules, as used in PET bottles. There are two prototypes: a triple pebble for cables between facades (which is being tested in a test section on the Demer) and a single pebble for a light pole. During the test set-up, the latter will be placed on the square halfway through Stratumseind.
Installing and using ILSE is more complex than ordinary public lighting. For example, an underground network is needed to control the lamps and they all have to be connected to each other. The new lighting will soon be able to play different ‘scenarios’, which are still pre-programmed for the initial phase.
Ultimately, the aim is to be able to respond instantly to the local situation and all kinds of scenarios can be developed for ‘breathing light’, as designer and developer Ellen de Vries of Het Lux Lab calls it. Shoppers will then receive a different lighting scenario than strolling visitors during GLOW, or football fans during a championship party for PSV. The light can also adapt to the seasons or weather conditions.
The effect of lighting scenarios cannot, of course, be tested with two test luminaires. That is why this will happen at the end of 2023 when the redevelopment of the Stratumseind has been completed and an underground network has been installed to control the lamps.
Redevelopment of the city center
The new light system is in line with previous experiences with light at Strijp-S and the Living Lab Stratumseind 2.0 pilot. Such a system appeared to contribute to safety, but also to influence the atmosphere and perception of the city centre. Now that the municipality has started redesigning the streets in the city center this spring with new paving and more greenery, it is also the time to renew and improve the public lighting.
Photo: ©City of Eindhoven