Intelligent Energy

Meet Switzerland's largest LED project

Meet Switzerland's largest LED project

Posting in Cities

A mile-and-a-half stretch of Philips LED lights on the underside of a Zurich bridge livens up a central neighborhood, sidewalks, bike paths, and a tram way. Saves energy, too.

What does it take to brighten up a central urban neighborhood that's overshadowed by a bridge? Answer: A mile-and-a-half string of LED lights mounted on the bridge's underbelly, according to Royal Philips Electronics.

The Dutch consumer electronics and lighting giant has provided 1,750 of its LEDline2 luminaires, which the city of Zurich has mounted on the underside of the Hardbrücke Bridge to illuminate neighborhood streets, sidewalks, bike paths and tram ways.

Philips says the installation runs for 2.3 kilometers (1.43 miles). Together with additional above-bridge LEDs that light up the Hardbrücke's roadway, the installation "makes this Switzerland's largest LED project," according to the company.

The recently renovated 40-year-old bridge connects north and south Zurich. About 70,000 vehicles travel across it daily.

LEDs (light emitting diodes) require less energy than conventional lighting and ostensibly last longer (some critics question that), requiring less servicing. According to Philips, the above-bridge LEDs alone will slash energy usage by a third.

"The municipality of Zürich chose to renew its lighting with the intention of reducing energy costs, service costs and light pollution," Philips said in a press release.  "Additionally, Zürich wanted to shape the night view of the city and improve the quality of life for the residents."

Photos: Philips

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Mark Halper

Contributing Editor

Mark Halper has written for TIME, Fortune, Financial Times, the UK's Independent on Sunday, Forbes, New York Times, Wired, Variety and The Guardian. He is based in Bristol, U.K. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure