Sunday, November 10, 2013

Let There Be Light

In its weekend edition the Badische Zeitung (BZ) showed some pictures of illuminated Freiburg landmarks. Your reaction will possibly be that this is nothing special, however it is a new kind of lighting solely based on light emitting diodes (LEDs).

The New Town Hall and Bertold-Schwarz-Brunnen (©BZ)
The Green City has long been been unhappy about the amount of electricity (ab)used for the illumination of its landmarks. When the Federal Ministry of Education and Research opened a contest: Cities in a new light Freiburg submitted its master plan based solely on LED technology and was among the winners of 2 million euros.

The Münster church with its permanent scaffolding (©BZ)
The installation started at the Münster church, eventually included the Rathausplatz (Town Hall Square), and Freiburg's two medieval gates. Although the LED technology is still expensive the savings in energy consumption compared with conventional lighting technology reaches 80%.. The illumination of St. Martin's Gate now consumes only 1500 watts. In total the city saves 21,500 euros on its electricity bill per year.
St. Martin's Gate still without a picture (©BZ)

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