Scotland is known for its many ferry ports and fishing towns - where effective lighting solutions are crucial for illuminating rural countryside and helping ships locate docking bays and the shoreline.
As lighting technology has developed, local councils are looking towards new, innovative solutions that will increase energy savings while offering them flexibility in how the luminaires operate during the year.
Currently, legacy lighting often operates on 1-10-volt regulation dimming schemes, where lanterns can either be dimmed completely or not at all.
Not only are these lighting schemes not using the full capabilities of modern luminaires - where lanterns can instantly be dimmed to different percentages of their full output - but they also require underground cabling.
Digging up concrete throughout towns and ports to install flexible dimming controls is time intensive and costly; as these luminaires can never be dimmed for safety reasons, they have to remain running at full power regardless of the needs of the area.
Modern solutions to old problems
During a comprehensive evaluation process, local councils in Scotland were ideally looking for a ‘one-size fits all’ lighting solution that would allow operators to customise light output in real-time.
Our new Bluetooth solution - which uses an embedded dongle combined with an antenna and smartphone application - was quickly identified as a high-performing alternative to the current setup at a competitive value.
Running on a user-friendly app that any operator can use, it allows for on-site configuration of individual outdoor luminaires.
From the ground, users can switch the luminaire on or off; adapt the dimming curve in real-time and read diagnostic data on how the network is performing.
With a long history of innovative lighting projects in Scotland, we regularly partner with local authorities who not only benefit from our expertise but also our strong rural delivery network. By being able to ensure luminaires are delivered to site quickly, electrical contractors - who are not always based in cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh - are not forced to take time-consuming trips to source new products.
This is another reason why we have been able to play such a prominent role in the LED regeneration of Scotland.
The power of Bluetooth
Our lighting solution was put into practice at Wemyss Bay - a Scottish popular tourist destination with a busy ferry service.
25 Ampera LED lanterns were installed and fitted with Bluetooth dongles and antenna.
With the app installed, operators can now dim luminaires on a customised, individual basis instead of deciding at the factory - giving the local authority better control over the specific requirements of each individual column.
Security was another strong selling point, as the service is password protected and encrypted - meaning no external parties can interfere with the lanterns or their performance.
To outline the cost-saving benefits of an affordable, effective dimming scheme, we set up an initial demonstration where lantern output was required to drop from 100 to 75 per cent.
As a 25% drop is not visible to the human eye, many onlookers asked if the dimming had even taken place - demonstrating the massive potential for energy and cost savings without negatively impacting on visibility.
By altering light levels according to the evolving needs of the bay - such as low visibility at night, heavy pedestrian footfall and weather - lanterns last longer, use less energy and generate significant savings.
With its effective lighting control, uniformity, and intuitive user experience, the combination of our lanterns and Bluetooth solution ticked all the boxes.
The innovation has now been adopted throughout the area and, with the success of the installation at Wemyss Bay, we are now rolling out further LED luminaires to two new sites in Scotland - with installation set to take place in the summer.
Scotland is looking to do a gradual roll-out of LED upgrades across its street lighting network, but each project will be done on a case-by-case basis - determined by budgets and seasonal conditions.
Stay tuned for more information on our upcoming lighting installations along Scotland’s many ferry ports and towns!