Old town Rietberg: Atmospheric LED light

LED light appears cool, artificial and sterile – at least, this was often said about it. This is an exclusion criterion for historic town centres of touristic importance. Here, the old gas lamps are considered to be the cornerstone of the overall ambience. However, one can see the opposite in the East-Westphalian town of Rietberg: With an innovative LED lighting concept, not only is the city centre been illuminated in an energy-efficient and economically viable manner, the lighting has also been improved in qualitative terms.

Engine for progress:

  • compatibility of the classic ambience with LED light
  • qualitative improvements through an innovative light concept
  • a reduction in public spending and a contribution to climate protection

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Photo: Stadt Rietberg

LED illumination of central city elements: Improved ambience, more light overall, energy savings and, last but not least, climate protection.

Rietberg has a representative historical centre, but at the same time would like to take a step into the future as a climate-friendly municipality. No contradiction: Here, they have implemented what is perceived as incompatible elsewhere. With an innovative LED lighting concept, the city is setting the standard in the field of energy-efficient lighting in historic city centres. Furthermore, the improved-quality solution also saves money. In addition to street lights, the park and promenade lighting was also replaced. A complete illumination concept has been developed and implemented for the historic city centre.

Tackling Major Challenges Together

The challenge facing the project partners was great, but their motivation was even greater. The successful implementation of the LED project is based on the joint efforts of all parties involved. The lighting manufacturer Philips was heavily involved. The CityTouch light management system was added to the Sustainia100 list of the most sustainable products for the planet at the climate change conference in Rio in 2012. The lighting concept originated from SMB-Städtebau from Aachen. FH Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences carried out the accompanying research for the project.

Civic Participation With a Special Radiance

Citizens, residents and owners as well as the local retailers were involved in the planning process from the very beginning. In total, more lamps were installed than were there before. Thus, the desires expressed by the population in the pre- and follow-up studies for stronger lighting in general and for an appreciation in value due to illumination and façade lighting were met. In addition, a LED light band for the visually impaired was installed through the inner city area. Despite these expansions, since then savings of 50 per cent in energy consumption have been achieved for the city lighting.

Partners and sponsors

  • Stadt Rietberg
  • SMB-Städtebau
  • Philips Research
  • FH Bielefeld, Fachbereich Ingenieurwissenschaften und Mathematik
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)