Glow in the dark road unveiled in the Netherlands

I have been following Daan’s progress with this project as I find it such a simple yet an effective method. I think that photoluminus paint is a great material that I am considering using in my designs as it is the ultimate sustainable light source.

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These “glowing lines” could replace street lights or be used in areas where there are none

Glow in the dark road markings have been unveiled on a 500m stretch of highway in the Netherlands.

The paint contains a “photo-luminising” powder that charges up in the daytime and slowly releases a green glow at night, doing away with the need for streetlights.

Interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde teamed up with Dutch civil engineering firm Heijmans to work on the the idea.

The technology is being tested with an official launch due later this month.

It is the first time “glowing lines” technology has been piloted on the road and can be seen on the N329 in Oss, approximately 100km south east of Amsterdam.

Once the paint has absorbed daylight it can glow for up to eight hours in the dark.
Encourage innovation

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The team also hopes to develop giant weather symbols that appear on the road

Speaking to the BBC last year about his plans Mr Roosegaarde said: “The government is shutting down streetlights at night to save money, energy is becoming much more important than we could have imagined 50 years ago. This road is about safety and envisaging a more self-sustainable and more interactive world.”

Mr Roosegaarde’s projects aim to help people and technology to interact. His past projects have included a dance floor with built-in disco lights powered by dancers’ foot movements, and a dress that becomes see-through when the wearer is aroused.

“I was completely amazed that we somehow spend billions on the design and R&D of cars but somehow the roads – which actually determine the way our landscape looks – are completely immune to that process,” Mr Roosegaarde said.

Heijmans was already working on projects involving energy-neutral streetlights when Mr Roosegaarde teamed up with the company.

“I thought that was updating an old idea, and I forced them to look at movies of jellyfish. How does a jellyfish give light? It has no solar panel, it has no energy bill.

“And then we went back to the drawing board and came up with these paints which charge up in the daytime and give light at night,” he said.

Heijmans says that the glow in the dark technology is also “a sustainable alternative to places where no conventional lighting is present”.

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The Dutch Minister for Infrastructure Melanie Schultz Haegen visited the project

Pilot project

Innovation on roads needs to be encouraged said Professor Pete Thomas, from Loughborough University’s Transport Safety Research Centre but new technologies need to prove themselves.

“We have some high visibility markings already on roads in the UK, plus cats-eye technology etc. So the question is how much better than these is this alternative?

“If we put this technology on all unlit roads that would be a lot of kilometres and it would be a big investment so if safety improvement is the target then we need hard evidence about how this compares to what we already have and to back up any safety claims,” he said.

Initially the team also had plans to develop weather symbols that appeared on the road once the temperature reached a certain level. A temperature-sensitive paint mixture would be used to create giant snow flake-shaped symbols on the tarmac to warn users that the road may be icy.

The current stretch of glow in the dark road in Oss does not include this temperature sensitive technology.

It is a pilot project at this stage and is expected to expand internationally later this year. Dutch media report that Heijmans is keen to use the paint on other roads but has not yet negotiated any contracts.

Unknown(2014)Glow in the dark roads unveiled in the Netherlands[Online]http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27021291(Accessed 14th April 2014)

Wave Bollard Seat

I had an idea to make the wave bollard multifunctional. To combine a light source with street furniture. This bollard has a folded seat incorporated into the design. The light source is provided by LED tubes in the front and the back. I do like the idea of having the seat but I think that I need to adapt the shape of the seat slightly and maybe look at the shape of the wave again.

Campus Bench

I have been doing a lot of research into street lighting in Southport. I also wanted to focus on lighting solutions for the university campus where I live. I want to design a street light that is suitable for campus and that combines the latest technologies to provide information for students. I also wanted to explore providing light from other creative methods for example my design for the kinetically powered bus stop light. I have been thinking about combining light with street furniture. I have started by designing a bench that could be used around campus. The University of Central Lancashire is split into zones that are identified by the colours orange, green, blue and purple. My design includes 4 benches that illuminates with one of these colours. When it is dark it is then obvious for students to identify which zone they are in.


Bus Stop Light powered by Kinetic Energy

I have been investigating kinetic energy to use as a possible energy source for powering a street light. I wanted this power to come from a fun method that would get the public involved and highlight the need for sustainable energy. I decided to design a bus stop where people have time on their hands waiting for the bus and maybe more inclined to give it ago. I like the simple forms of my bus stop design, I feel that the seat itself could be better and I will investigate ways of how to improve it to have a stronger structure.

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A design for a campus bus stop powered by Kinetic Energy. The seat is a swing which powers the light.

Senegal gets solar-powered streetlights

I found this article and thought that it was interesting as it highlight the good that solar power street lights can do in an area where there is no or little electricity available. It also highlights the importance of having to educate people about sustainable energy.

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Senegal is investing in solar-powered streetlighting, with a rollout of approximately 1,500 solar panels in the capital, Dakar and six other regions in the interior of the country.

Most villages in Senegal do not have access to electricity, yet an investment in solar panels and low-energy light sources looks set to improve the lives of millions.

Africa has some of the highest levels of solar irradiation in the world, yet most villages in Senegal do not have access to electricity. Tens of thousands of pounds are currently being invested into solar energy in the West African region.

Maimouna Ndoye of the Senegalese Ministry of Energy says that over 18 million West African CFA Francs (over $33,000) has been invested into the scheme, with 900 of the panels being installed in the capital, Dakar.

In order to protect against theft and vandalism, the panels are being equipped with survelliance cameras, but Ndoye points out that the most ‘significant’ means of protecting the new kit is if the affected communities understand the potential benefits to them, adding that there is an education process underway.

The programme looks set to provide a welcome boost to rural communities, which often struggle with limited access to power. Low-energy lighting has also been acquired for certain public buildings, with the overall scheme forming part of an wider West African to fight back against the effects of climate change and to promote renewable energy sources. Phase one of the scheme is due for completion this year, with phase two involving participation from the private sector and due for 2015.

The effort takes place in the context of a continent seeking to gain energy independence whilst also preserving its environment. With rising populations and growing economic activity, Africa’s demand for power is set to grow, yet hundreds of millions of Africans are still deprived of basic services.

Besides Dakar, the Tambacounda, Thiès, Kaloack, Kolda, Linguère and Fatick regions are set to benefit from the scheme, which it is widely believed will improve the wellbeing and the safety of the surrounding communities, as well as reducing their electricity bills.

Unknown(2014)Senegal gets solar-powered streetlights[Online]http://www.luxreview.com/news/120/senegal-gets-solar-powered-streetlights(accessed 29th March 2014)

Philips creates first 3D printed LED smart lamp

Philips has launched an innovative new range of smart LED lights, including the world’s first 3D printed smart lamp. Since I started researching street lighting in September there have been rapid changes in lighting technology which I find fascinating. I found this article about Philips creating a 3D printed LED light and more of their colour changing lights technology. Creating a lamp that looks like a piece of art.
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Philips, the global leader in lighting and a member of The Climate Group, has released three new smart lighting products, including a breakthrough bright white-only LED bulb which is controllable with a smart phone or tablet.

The wireless lighting system, which allows owners to dim or alter the lamp’s light through an app and is compatible with devices such as the jawbone bracelet, sets a new benchmark for smart home lighting.

The company has also created the world’s first 3D-printed smart LED lights in two unique styles, that were created in collaboration with famous designers WertelOberfell and Strand+Hvass.

Using the connected apps, users can control infinite lighting effects of the 3D-printed luminaire, which is fully compatible with the Philips Hue range of bulbs, lamps, apps and switches.

The company also announced the launch of a clever battery-free wireless light switch which is called ‘the hue tap’.

Harry Verhaar, Senior Director Energy and Climate Change, Philips Lighting, said: “With the world rapidly moving towards efficient, connected lighting, we are maximizing a range of important benefits. Connected LED lighting not only achieves significant energy savings and carbon footprint reductions, but most of all maximizes customer benefits by simply enabling people to create any atmosphere they desire. The future of innovative, low carbon lighting can helps us on our path to create the future we want for our planet.”

Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnerships, The Climate Group, commented: “Business drives the innovation we urgently need in technologies and markets for a better future. We support today’s corporate leaders like Philips, who know that the climate challenge can be turned into an opportunity to secure long-term prosperity in a low carbon economy.”

Unknown(2014)Philips creates first 3D printed LED smart lamp[Online]http://www.theclimategroup.org/what-we-do/news-and-blogs/philips-creates-first-3d-printed-led-smart-lamp/(Accessed 28th March 2014)

Lancashire County Council illuminates county hall while switching off street lights

An interesting article that was front page news on the Lancashire Evening Post. It highlights the growing public interest in the topic of street lighting and the dangers of switching them off. Luke Bosdet, from the AA,states “Switching off street lights might make savings, but it is paid for with lives”.

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Lancashire County Council has come under fire for continuing to illuminate the outside of County Hall while planning to turn street lights off across the area.

In an effort to save £500,000 over the next four years, the Labour group in charge of the authority is looking at a range of ways to reduce energy spending – but none suggests reviewing the use of spotlights on County Hall in Preston.

Council leader Jennifer Mein has defended the policy, saying the lights on the Fishergate building help welcome people to the city.

But motoring organisations claim the council has got its priorities wrong.

Coun Mein said: “County Hall is an iconic landmark building that is the first thing that many visitors to Preston see, whether they arrive by road or train.

“Lighting it costs less than £3 per night and, while we’re working on how to reduce this still further, it is a worthwhile investment for welcoming visitors to the city, quite apart from the practical reasons for lighting a building that is used for many public evening events.

“Much more significantly, the council will save £250,000 per year in energy costs in Preston alone, thanks to work to improve the infrastructure at County Hall and reduce the amount of office space we use elsewhere in the city centre.”

Coun Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of the council’s Tory group, said he was baffled by the need to illuminate the building.

“It’s hardly a tourism attraction, is it?” he said.

“I appreciate it may only be £3 a night, but 365 days a year is over £1,000 a year and I am sure it could be better used on things other than lighting buildings.”

He said it should perhaps be lit up on special occasions – and the approach of lighter nights in British Summer Time made it a nonsense.

Elaine Cotterell, Lancashire Unison branch secretary, said: “The council’s priorities need to be determined on helping the most vulnerable in society and protecting services for council tax payers.”

A budget report on street lighting states: “Options include further dimming on the network between 7pm-6am, all night and total switch off from midnight until 6am. It is estimated that between 34 and 44 per cent of street lights could be affected.”

Full details have not been configured, but a senior County Hall spokesman said a working group has been set up to look into the proposals.

He said: “There will be a degree of investment needed to ensure we have the right technology in the right lights to ensure that we can dim/switch them off at the right times and in the right places.”

According to research from The AA, there has been a reduction in fatal accidents on Britain’s roads between 2007 and 2012, but the rate of reduction lowers when lights are switched off at night.

In 30mph zones, fatal accidents have reduced by 23.6 per cent where roads are lit, but the reduction is only 19 per cent when they are not.

Luke Bosdet, from the AA, said the organisation did not have a problem with dimming lights, but it was against turning lights off completely.

He said: “Switching off street lights might make savings, but it is paid for with lives.

“More than one in 10 people who work leave the house between midnight and 5am, so this assumption by councils that switching off the lights until that time isn’t going to affect anybody is plain wrong.”

He added: “Another point is that very often where lights are switched off it’s not done with the consent of residents.

“We would argue that if the residents say no, then the council should listen to them.

“It’s always been fairly typically said of councils, that if they are looking to cut the electricity bill, that they should start by looking at council buildings.”

Currently, LCC uses four 400-watt floodlights and a 1050-watt halogen spotlight to light the front of County Hall.

“They are controlled by a photo cell that turns them on automatically during the hours of darkness.

In winter, this can last around 15 hours and, in the summer, around eight hours.

Additional ‘amenity’ street lighting in Pitt Street is provided by Preston Council.

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said: “We have absolute sympathy for councils facing increasing obligations and shrinking budgets, but street lights are very much about safety especially that of pedestrians and cyclists.

“Council taxpayers should be shown the analysis which demonstrates that any financial savings outweigh the potential human costs of road accidents. A sign that the council is serious about cutting energy bills might come from those in County Hall doing some navel gazing and asking whether more of their own lights could be switched off.”

Lancashire County Council is also responsible for a short length of motorway in East Lancashire; M65 from junction 10 at Burnley to junction 14 at Colne, where the lights are turned off between midnight and 5am.

The council insists it causes “no problems” and points out that 70 per cent of the UK’s strategic road network, which includes motorways and major A-roads, is unlit.

Unknown(2014)Lancashire County Council illuminates county hall while switching off street lights[Online]http://www.lep.co.uk/news/environment/lancashire-county-council-illuminates-county-hall-while-switching-off-street-lights-1-6524279(Accessed 27th March 2014)