Philips LED Street Lighting for the future

I thought I’d write about an interesting new concept that you may see Powercor installing in partnership with Philips in the future in major cities throughout the UK.

Every weekend up to fifteen thousand people head to the Stratumseind in Eindhoven to party.They are mostly between the ages of 16 and 25 and the 250m long strip is home to over 60 bars and cafes. The party street is a cocktail of alcohol, hormones and drugs and police record over 800 fights, brawls and insult-ridden arguments (all known as escalations) per year.

That’s too many. So Eindhoven has drafted in Philips to sprinkle its multi-coloured Hue magic over Stratumseind’s streetlights to help calm everybody down.

Two sets of customers pay at a till. The first group are polite, ask to use the chip and PIN machine and generally leave a tip. The second are rude and more likely to start hammering in their PIN code without checking. The difference? The first group paid in a warm, white light and the second in a very cool light.

In collaboration with the municipality of Eindhoven and the Intelligent Lighting Institute at Eindhoven University of Technology (which conducted the cash register research), Philips is fitting the Stratumseind’s 25 streetlights with connected, controllable RBG lightbulbs in a bid to make bar hoppers behave more like those first customers. The project, which will run for four years, is named “De-escalate” and the Stratumseind the “Living Lab”.

People start behaving differently when there’s a low light level, they feel like they’re not noticed and do all sorts of things they wouldn’t usually do.

In the home, we have Philips’ Living Colours and Hue bulbs that influence atmosphere. So it was logical to see how it could influence the outdoor atmosphere. It’s felt that coloured lighting can have a positive effect on escalations.

Tweaking involves the colour, tone and intensity of the lights and actually began late last year, before this Stratumseind already had a system in place to increase the brightness of streetlights from 5 lux to 20 lux when there’s an incident. This helps the police and medical staff to do their jobs properly but also means that crowds gather to have a look.

One thing that’s being researched is how to get people out of there. If you increase a light setting on the other side of the street, people will move out of the way of the incident.

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Changes that Philips are making on the Stratumseind are based on both historical information from the police and data from sensors dotted around the area.

The municipality of Eindhoven has really kitted out the street. They track the density of people moving around the area, they have 3D sound measurement tools to record decibel levels, counting cameras at the entrance and exits to the street (which only quantify the number of people and don’t store images) and GPS data for the medical teams in the area so that they can show up on the real time map used by the researchers.

Bar owners also provide information ahead of time helping the team to prepare for a football match or big dance event and both bar owners and the police submit alerts when there is an incident.

The Stratumseind lighting controllers are also working on an algorithm, based on police reports, to determine the prime conditions for an escalation. You’d think more escalations happen in summer but apparently its winter. The research can show that an escalation occurred when it was 10 degrees C, when the density of people was X amount per square metre, when the sound measurement was X many decibels. Then you can create an algorithm to say – this is the perfect situation for an escalation.

The experiment began in November and the team have permission to manipulate the lighting at certain times of day and night.

The streetlights are as customisable as the regular Hue bulbs so they’ve got 16 million colours to choose from.

You never know it may not be too long before you see Powercor installing a similar set up over here.

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As a Value Added Partner for Philips, Powercor have the knowledge & expertise to offer advice in all lighting installations.

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