Posted on: Mar 23, 2017

Dutch island adopts connected street lighting that is friendly to migrating birds


Eindhoven, the Netherlands – Philips Lighting (Euronext Amsterdam ticker: LIGHT), a global leader in lighting, today announced a connected LED street lighting project with a difference.

The lighting company will equip the picturesque island of Ameland, in the Netherlands, with energy efficient LED street lighting and Philips ClearSky, a light spectrum specially designed to be friendly to migrating birds. The new lighting infrastructure represents a major milestone in helping Ameland achieve its ambitious sustainability goals by saving energy and reducing light pollution.

Ameland, one of the Netherlands’ northern most islands, supports the Dark Sky World Heritage Wadden Sea Region UNESCO program. Its new street lights incorporate Philips ClearSky technology which emits a subtle blue-green light that improves the ability of humans to judge perception at night whilst being friendly to birds and nocturnal animals.

“Regular white light can disorientate birds and affect their internal compass. Philips ClearSky technology, does not interfere with birds’ biological systems and so helps them to arrive safely at their roosts,”

explained Maurice Donners, Senior Scientist Lighting Research at Philips Lighting.

According to International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), world's authority on light pollution and leading organization combating light pollution, birds that migrate or hunt at night navigate by moonlight and starlight. Artificial light can cause them to wander off course and toward the dangerous nighttime landscapes of cities.

Every year millions of birds die colliding with needlessly illuminated buildings and towers. Migratory birds depend on cues from properly timed seasonal schedules. Artificial lights can cause them to migrate too early or too late and miss ideal climate conditions for nesting, foraging and other behaviors.

Many insects are also drawn to light, but artificial lights can create a fatal attraction. Declining insect populations negatively impact all species that rely on insects for food or pollination. Some predators exploit this attraction to their advantage, affecting food webs in unanticipated ways.

The energy efficient LED street lights that will be installed in the residential areas are wirelessly connected to a Philips CityTouch lighting management system. The system enables individual light points to be monitored and controlled remotely, saving maintenance costs and up to 70% of energy consumption.

At the beachfront, the Philips ClearSky lighting incorporates Philips LumiMotion sensors that detect human motion. When no activity is detected, the lighting automatically dims to a level equaling moonlight, protecting darkness and limiting the impact of artificial light for waders, grassland and migratory birds.

"By installing connected LED street lighting on Ameland, we are taking the next crucial step in achieving our sustainability goals for 2020. Furthermore, it supports the 'Dark Sky World Heritage Wadden Sea Region' program by helping us to address levels of light pollution and preserve bird wildlife and the environment,"

says Nico Oud, Alderman of Sustainability of Ameland.

“Together with the municipality, the covenant partners of the Sustainable Ameland Agreement[2] and Ameland’s residents, we are helping to create a smart island and preserve a rich cultural and environmental heritage with our connected LED technology,”

said Richard Boerop, Account Manager at Philips Lighting.