LED street lights: Bielefeld lights the way

The city of Bielefeld replaced 14,800 lightbulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. A project that not only protects the environment – people and animals also benefit sustainably from this commitment.

Based on the EU ordinance, applicable since April 2009, mercury vapour lamps may no longer be used after 2015. With the aid of funding from the Federal Ministry of the Environment's national climate protection project, the city of Bielefeld replaced the conventional lamps with energy-efficient LEDs between mid-2011 and mid-2014. As a result of this change, the city now saves on average 42 per cent of the energy used for public street lighting. This corresponds to a saving of about five million kilowatt-hours of electricity and 3,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. In addition to this, electricity costs have been reduced considerably.

Engine for progress:

  • high climate effect
  • transferability: innovative pioneer
  • socially, ecologically and economically sustainable
  • shows direct social change

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Photo: Stadt Bielefeld, Amt für Verkehr

Energy efficiency has increased and light emissions have been reduced. People and animals in Bielefeld benefit.

Fewer light emissions for more well-being

In addition to increasing energy efficiency, the new LED lamps provide a clear reduction in light emissions, which benefits both people and animals. Along stretches where the post height, post distance and street width correspond to the requirements for the new LED technology, the traffic routes are much better lit, so that the feeling of security has been increased significantly. Through uniform lighting, the cityscape has become more harmonious and the citizens' sense of identification with their parts of the city has increased. The project is also a complete success ecologically, as the city is moving away from harmful mercury vapour lamps.

Other communities can learn from this

Bielefeld has clearly documented the change, so that it can be easily transferred to other municipalities. The city is saving on energy costs and can now use this money in other ways for its citizens. From a long-term perspective, the change is also worthwhile even without funding, as the savings are enormous. Implementation of the EU ordinance offered great opportunities for achieving local climate protection goals in the area of public street lighting in Bielefeld, as well as lower energy costs.

Project movie LED street lights in Bielefeld

Video: KlimaExpo.NRW

Photo: KlimaExpo.NRW

“Every city can make a contribution to climate protection through the energy-efficient modernisation of its public street lighting; by reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions they can thus relieve the burden on the environment and on their budget.”

Hans-Werner Schütte, Transport Department, Bielefeld

Partners and sponsors

  • Stadt Bielefeld
  • Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (BmUB)