Feature, Outdoor, Transport

Gibraltar’s bus shelters get zero-carbon lighting

The new bus shelters gather energy by day and provide light by night, with sensors dimming the lights down when no one's there

Dozens of bus shelters in Gibraltar are being lit without the need for energy from the grid, thanks to a solar-powered lighting system.

Fifty-six shelters that were previously poorly lit have been fitted with a solar lighting system made by UK manufacturer Zeta Specialist Lighting.

The system was supplied by local electrical contractor Techtrolec, which won a competitive tender from the government-owned Gibraltar Bus Company.

With 100 per cent of the energy needed to light the shelters coming from the sun, it’s a zero-carbon, zero-cost solution – once installed. And because there was no need to hook the lights up to a mains supply, any CO2 emissions from laying cabling or putting power infrastructure in place were avoided.

A vandal-resistant solar panel on the roof of the shelter harnesses the sun’s energy throughout the day, charging the batteries, which power high-intensity LEDs to light the shelters from dusk till dawn.

The lights maintains a constant low level of illumination when there’s no one there, with passive infrared (PIR) sensors responding when a passenger arrives, and increasing the level of light.

Techtrolec’s Dee Curran said: ‘I don’t believe we were the cheapest provider but the product offered by Zeta provided us with a huge competitive edge.’

Neil Costa, the minister responsible for tourism and public transport, said he was ‘delighted’ to see the improvements to Gibraltar’s bus shelters. ‘Not only does this fall in line with Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar’s eco-friendly drive, but it will also offer an added sense of security inside our bus stops in the darker hours of the day,’ he said.