Why 6,000 street lights in Tenerife are getting blue filters

SOME 6,000 new street lights in Tenerife in the Canary Islands are to be fitted with special optical plates that filter out blue light and direct the light to the ground to avoid disturbing nearby astronomical observatories.

Teide Observatory, Tenerife, one of a number of internationally renowned observatories attracted to the islands because of the clear skies, The new street lights minimise city light spilling into the night sky.  Photo: Daniel López / IAC

The islands feature several internationally renowned observatories, located to benefit from exceptional clear skies, which are specially protected a the Spanish law.

This requires municipalities in Tenerife North and La Palma to take measures to mitigate light pollution, such as banning the use of high-pressure mercury lamps or white light lamps, with a few notable exceptions including lighting for sports and advertising.

The project includes 100 ‘sensor-ready’ street lights which can accommodate existing and future sensors (such as noise, pollution, traffic monitoring, etc.) and can be paired with software applications from Signify, the supplier of the equipment.The fittings are equipped with two system ready sockets – one on top and one on the bottom of each luminaire – compatible with the Zhaga standard.

The street lights will be managed under a contract awarded to ImesAPI, which is also undertaking the installation. Around 3,000 Luma and 1,500 ClassicStreet luminaires will be monitored, controlled and managed remotely using Signify's Interact City street lighting management system.
Some 1,500 sodium-vapour street lights from the existing installation will be added to Interact City, using connector kits, as well as the management of 165 cabinets.

‘For astronomers and those who enjoy starlit nights, the quality of our skies is second to none’, the Mayor of Puerto de la Cruz, Lope Afonso, told Lux.

‘We want to preserve this precious resource and at the same time make our streets even safer for citizens and tourists.

‘This latest technology meets the needs of local observatories and will also help us to reduce the electricity we use for public lighting by around 65 per cent, while providing us with options for future smart city services.

‘We want Puerto de la Cruz to become one of the most innovative cities in Europe.’

‘The Milky Way is hidden from more than one-third of humanity, including 60 per cent of Europeans and nearly 80 per cent of North Americans,’ said Paul Peeters, business leader professional lighting in Europe for Signify.

 

  • Light pollution will be one the topics of the one of the sessions at the Transport and Infrastructure Lighting conference at LuxLive 2018. The exhibition takes place on Wednesday 14 November and Thursday 15 November. To view the full programme, click HERE.

Comments 2

The problem using filters is if they start to fail. This is quite possible depending on the material of manufacture and the local weather conditions. There may also be issues around how the filters are fitted to the luminaire as this is likely to increase maintenance issues. Obviously this is a resolution to an extensive retrofit. Might have been better to have taken more time in the beginning when selecting a luminaire.

I am wondering, if filtering out the blue part of the spectrum is the most efficient way to reduce the blue content. There are more efficent technologies, i.e. if you are not producing blue light primarely, you do not need to filter it out.

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