News - 22.02.2024
These lamps are real luminaires.
A parking is truly not a feel-good place. Drive in, park, get out again quickly. The corners are gloomy, the ceilings low and the exits hard to find. To attract customers and deter nasties, bright lights are on – day in, day out. This requires energy, which we don’t have in abundance – and which is expensive. Electricity prices will rise again in 2024. This problem is being actively tackled in the Stampfenbach parking in Zurich. Everything here is pleasantly lit, even the corners. But the new lighting system, which was installed this year, uses 80 per cent less electricity than the previous one. Jakob Tresch opens the door to the first basement floor and steps inside. “Here, where we are now, the lights are burning at 100 per cent,” says the project engineer from Zurich start-up LED City, which has just received the Green Business Award for its intelligent lighting systems. “Now look over there,” says the 24-year-old, pointing to the rows of parking spots on the other side of the carriageway. It looks bright there too. But because there are no people on this side, the lights have automatically dimmed down to 5 per cent, explains Tresch. So you save almost 95 per cent electricity, but our eyes can hardly see the difference from a distance.
Saving a nuclear power plant.
Only when we walk over do the lights become visibly brighter, not suddenly, but almost unnoticed and as gently as if someone were slowly raising them. This “someone” is the system from LED City. The company has already supplied numerous companies with its lighting, including Zurich Airport, the Dolder Grand Hotel and the University of Zurich. When it comes to electricity consumption, light is only one of many factors. But light is not insignificant. According to Energy Switzerland, the federal government’s energy promotion programme, lighting accounted for around 11.2 percent of Switzerland’s total electricity consumption in 2021. in 2012, the year of highest consumption, it was 14.6 per cent. This reduction is mainly due to the switch from halogen lamps to more economical LED lights. But much more could be achieved, especially in commercial buildings, where the lights are often on unnecessarily. According to estimates, better concepts could save up to 90 per cent of the costs incurred by lighting in commercial properties. These figures make Patrik Deuss, founder and CEO of LED City, think big: “We want to save a nuclear power plant by 2030,” says the 31-year-old in the LED City offices, which are located in the centre of Zurich on Werdstrasse. There is still a long way to go to achieve this goal. According to Deuss, around 12 million lights would have to be converted in order to save as much electricity as a nuclear power plant produces each year. So far, the company has achieved one per cent: LED City has replaced around 120,000 lights in the last six years. “But the need for intelligent light is growing exponentially,” says Deuss, who is more than confident.