Prestigious Swiss Watt d'Or Prize goes to Intelligent Lighting System

18 January 2018

Schréder Swiss, one of Europe’s leading suppliers of street lighting equipment, in partnership with EKZ (Elektrizitätswerke des Kantons Zürich), has been presented with the Watt d’Or 2018 award for the Energy Technologies Category. The prize is awarded by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy to innovative Swiss companies and organisations which have developed practical, sustainable energy solutions.

The new light units designed by the Canton of Zurich (EKZ) and Schréder Swiss give real meaning to the term “Intelligent Lighting”. They make it possible to adapt light intensity gradually and continuously, according to the volume of traffic. This not only improves energy efficiency while reducing light pollution, but also provides benefits to residents and nocturnal creatures. Depending on the situation, this intelligent lighting system delivers up to 70% energy savings.

Leveraging the latest technologies

Intelligent light systems with motion detectors have been around for a few years now. In busy streets, they have the disadvantage of turning on and off very often and quickly, which is disturbing for passers by. A new technical standard for street lighting now reduces luminosity according to traffic flows. EKZ, the Canton of Zurich’s electricity company, and Schréder Swiss came up with the idea of ​​automatically regulating the light to continuously and progressively adapt it to traffic, which is now possible thanks to the latest technologies in sensors, LEDs and communication protocols.

The test case

In Urdorf in the canton of Zurich, a street light on a busy one-kilometer stretch of road that crosses the city was equipped with an optical sensor. This observes the volume of traffic and transmits the data to a centralised control unit, which in turn sends back the signal to 27 individually-controllable luminaires. The light is thus continuously and almost imperceptibly modified. Depending on the traffic flow, light intensity varies between 40% and 100%. Pedestrian crossings are always fully lit for safety reasons. This one-year pilot project in Urdorf was a great success. The lighting worked at full speed for only one hour in the morning and three hours in the evening and could be lowered by one or more levels of intensity the rest of the time. Energy savings for the city represent nearly 30%. Depending on the situation, the savings potential can even reach 70%.

What’s next?

After only 6 months, the results of the pilot project in Urdorf were so promising that Schréder Swiss started to develop a solution for the market. In partnership with SixSq, the Volumlight™ solution was developed and put into service at the end of 2017. The first three installations were deployed with customers in the canton of Basel.

Volumlight™ uses advanced technologies such as Edge Computing and Private Cloud and is future-oriented, with integration for Smart Cities already planned. With its open architecture, the system is designed to share data and functionality with other systems.

Schréder Swiss

Schréder provides high quality lighting products and is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of street lighting and exterior decorative lighting equipment. Technical quality and aesthetic design are at the heart of the company’s philosophy. Coupled with its customer-focused work ethic, this has led Schréder to develop the most cost effective, energy efficient exterior lighting innovations on the market today.

What’s next?

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