The media is showing a growing interest in LED lighting projects around the world, particularly those on a large scale. The Hurdbrücke Bridge LED project in Switzerland is an example.

The authorities in Zurich, Switzerland’s biggest city, needed to improve the deteriorating condition of the Hurdbrücke Bridge. The bridge is a very busy road: more than 70,000 motorists use it every day to travel between the north and south of the city. It also provides a convenient route to other areas of the country.

The authorities decided to renovate the bridge, but had two qualifications. The work must enhance the quality of life in the district around the bridge, and must lower the maintenance and energy costs.

These qualifications applied as much to the lighting as to the general repair work, a point the Zurich authorities made when they asked the Dutch company, Royal Philips Electronics, to propose a lighting solution. Bearing in mind the emphasis on quality, low maintenance and low energy, Philips suggested LEDs.

The benefits of LED lighting were clear.

  • LED bulbs cast a clear bright light as good as any other type of lighting system. In fact, LEDs have the best lumens to watt ratio of any bulbs.
  • LEDs last for an average of 50,000 hours. This life expectancy is many times greater than traditional bulbs.
  • Because LEDs use very little power, they cut electricity costs dramatically.
  • LEDs are friendly to the environment. In comparison, low-energy CFL bulbs contain harmful mercury vapour.

For Philips and the city of Zurich, LEDs for Hurdbrücke Bridge were the preferred option. LED lighting would save money on maintenance and energy, and the quality of the light would improve the appearance of the bridge and the surrounding areas.

As part of the LED lighting project, Philips attached 1,750 LED lamps to the underside of the Hurdbrücke Bridge. The lamps were the company’s high-performing LEDline2 luminaires.

The LEDs stretch for one and a half miles, and provide light for the district’s roads, cycle paths, tramlines and pavements. They use just 25kWh of energy over a period of 1,654 hours each year, thereby cutting Zurich’s energy bill significantly.

The lamps along the road on the Hurdbrücke Bridge are from Philips’ Koffer range. This LED lighting system has succeeded in cutting power costs by a third.

When taken together, the LED lamps below and above the Hurdbrücke Bridge have made the LED lighting project the largest of its kind in Switzerland. The project is also proving to be very successful.

Apart from reducing energy and maintenance bills, and enhancing the look of the bridge, the directional LED lighting has cut light pollution. Critics blame cities and towns for not doing enough to limit the amount of light they create and waste. The Hurdbrücke Bridge LED lighting project is helping answer this criticism.

With the success of the Hurdbrücke Bridge renovation and similar initiatives worldwide, LED lighting is the best choice for municipal projects. LEDs also make perfect sense for use in every domestic and commercial setting.

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