What’s believed to be the world’s first public lighting with white colour tuning has been unveiled in a mid-western US town.
The colour temperature of the LEDs in an installation in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, can be varied from a warm 2700K to a cool 5500K.
The traditional post-top lights are installed in the municipality’s Railroad Park which is about the size of a typical city block. City managers believe that during times of high activity, 4500K provides better visibility for a safer environment. Later at night as activity levels drop, the municipality will warm the lights to 2700K, a correlated colour temperature generally preferred by many people, especially in northern latitudes.
‘There’s been a lot of controversy in the industry about the colour of light generated by outdoor lighting and the possible harmful effects it may cause to humans and the surrounding ecosystems,’ Ken Taillon, manager of municipal lighting services at Short Elliott Hendrickson, who led the project engineering.
Municipalities now have the power to create the perfect environment at any given time.
‘With this technology, [municipalities] no longer have to choose the colour temperature during the design process. Tuning the color of white light in conjunction with adjusting the brightness level provides opportunities we’ve never had before.
Lighting systems can now respond to the dynamic needs associated with providing necessary public safety while rendering colours and light levels that are more appropriate for lighting the after-hour nighttime environment.’
The tunable system also offers capabilities that can be used during special events or emergencies. ‘Municipalities now have the power to create the perfect environment at any given time,’ said Ron Sege, CEO of Echelon, who supplied the technology. ‘Imagine the improved public safety if all of the streetlights in an area were immediately whiter and brighter when a 911 call was responded to, but otherwise dimmer and more yellow at night for restful sleep. ‘Cities need not compromise safety for comfort or vice versa. Our technology is paving the way for smart cities to improve quality of life, while still achieving energy efficiency and sustainability goals.’
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