Light knowledge

There is more to light than illumination

In recent years, environmental, health and cost concerns have raised awareness of what characterises ideal, energy-efficient illumination. The right quality, composition and direction of light makes an enormous difference for human well-being as well as the appearance and appeal of a city.

Even, vertical illuminance levels for safety

Clear vision in public areas

It takes extensive expert knowledge to distinguish and understand the many physical and physiological parameters which must be considered when designing lighting solutions. Vertical illuminance is one of the most important properties of light sources because it determines people’s ability to discern details in their immediate environment, and is consequently a crucial safety factor. High vertical illuminance levels and evenly distributed illumination ‒ which avoids confusion caused by “blind” spots ‒ are essential considerations when designing lighting systems for public spaces.

Standards for public lighting installations

Visibility of pedestrians, vehicles, obstacles, hazards

The European standard EN 13201 sets out quality requirements for lighting installations of public streets, walkways, bicycle lanes and squares with the main objective of enhancing safety. The higher the risk, the more stringent the lighting requirements. The standard defines illumination quality in terms of luminance, measured in candela per square metre (cd/m2), which expresses how much light is emitted or reflected from a particular surface, i.e., the perceived brightness of the surface; illuminance measured in lux, which states how much a surface is illuminated by the incident light; even light distribution, which avoids “blind” spots; glare reduction; and colour rendition. Luminance is a key factor for accident prevention.

City marketing and enhancement of public areas

Radiant cities prosper

A city that presents itself in the best light will attract the kind of people who will make it thrive. Light contributes to quality of life and a lively culture. Illuminating public buildings, historic architectural gems, iconic sites and squares, and centres of civic and cultural live artfully will attract business, encourage street life and create a positive atmosphere – giving substance to the city’s marketing efforts and boosting its reputation. What is more, smart, network-integrated lighting installations can add dynamic control and Internet of Things (IoT) functionality, local guidance via mobile devices and car park information, all of which will make the city truly stand out. Experts from OSRAM Lighting Solutions stand ready to provide comprehensive advice to city planners and lighting designers.

Street illumination test site

Demonstrating the difference

OSRAM subsidiary Siteco operates a unique facility in Traunreut, Germany where roughly 75 street illumination tests and demonstrations take place every year, attended by 2,5000 visitors from around the world. The test site offers representatives of municipal administrations, city councils, utility companies and even certification agencies and courts of law an opportunity to witness street illumination systems in action. A row of gantry cranes fitted with many different conventional and state-of-the-art lighting solutions allows visitors to see for themselves how street lighting has evolved and what OSRAM Lighting Solutions has to offer to make cities brighter, safer and more appealing.

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