Abstract and Figures

Street lighting has a big impact on the energy consumption of Spanish municipalities. To decrease this consumption, the Spanish government has developed two different regulations to improve energy savings and efficiency, and consequently, reduce greenhouse-effect gas emissions. However, after these efforts, they have not obtained the expected results. To improve the effectiveness of these regulations and therefore to optimize energy consumption, a study has been done to analyze the different devices which influence energy consumption with the intention of better understanding their behavior and performance. The devices analyzed were lamps, ballasts, street lamp globes, control systems and dimmable lighting systems. To improve their performance, they have been analyzed from three points of view: changes in technology, use patterns and standards. Thanks to this study, some aspects have been found that could be taken into account if we really wanted to use energy efficiently.
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Energies 2015, 8, 976-994; doi:10.3390/en8020976
ISSN 1996-1073
A Study to Improve the Quality of Street Lighting in Spain
Alberto Gutierrez-Escolar 1,*, Ana Castillo-Martinez 1, Jose M. Gomez-Pulido 1,
Jose-Maria Gutierrez-Martinez 1, Zlatko Stapic 2 and Jose-Amelio Medina-Merodio 1
1 Department of Computer Sciences, Polytechnic School, University of Alcala,
Madrid-Barcelona Road, Km 33.6, Alcala de Henares 28871, Spain;
E-Mails: ana.castillo@uah.es (A.C.-M.); jose.gomez@uah.es (J.M.G.-P.);
josem.gutierrez@uah.es (J.-M.G.-M.); josea.medina@uah.es (J.-A.M.-M.)
2 Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University of Zagreb, Pavlinska 2, Varazdin 42000,
Croatia; E-Mail: zlatko.stapic@foi.hr
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: alberto.gutierreze@uah.es;
Tel.: +34-9188-56651; Fax: +34-9188-56646.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Dovì
Received: 24 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 January 2015 / Published: 29 January 2015
Abstract: Street lighting has a big impact on the energy consumption of Spanish municipalities.
To decrease this consumption, the Spanish government has developed two different
regulations to improve energy savings and efficiency, and consequently, reduce
greenhouse-effect gas emissions. However, after these efforts, they have not obtained the
expected results. To improve the effectiveness of these regulations and therefore to optimize
energy consumption, a study has been done to analyze the different devices which influence
energy consumption with the intention of better understanding their behavior and
performance. The devices analyzed were lamps, ballasts, street lamp globes, control systems
and dimmable lighting systems. To improve their performance, they have been analyzed
from three points of view: changes in technology, use patterns and standards. Thanks to this
study, some aspects have been found that could be taken into account if we really wanted to
use energy efficiently.
Keywords: lamps; ballasts; dimmable lighting systems; twilight switch; energy efficiency
Energies 2015, 8 977
1. Introduction
Street lighting is an integral part of the municipal environment, promoting comfort, as well as
enhancing the safety and security of its users [1]. This kind of lighting has the greatest impact on energy
consumption in most Spanish municipalities, and may account for up to 80% of the electricity consumed
by municipalities [2]. Furthermore, the average lamp power used in Spain, with an average of 157 W
per lamp, is one of the highest in the European Union, well above the United Kingdom
(76 W) or The Netherlands (61 W) [3]. This is perhaps due to the fact that 20% of street lighting lamps
are based on outdated and inefficient technologies [4]. Table 1 shows the percentage of each kind of
lamp in use in 2007.
Table 1. Percentage of each kind of lamp in some European countries in 2007.
HPM (%)
HPS (%)
LPS (%)
MH (%)
FL (%)
HPM = high pressure mercury; HPS = high pressure sodium; LPS = low pressure sodium; MH = metal halide;
FL = fluorescent; LED= light-emitting diode.
To improve this situation, the Spanish Government put forth the Royal Decree 1890/2008 [5] and its
corresponding Complementary Technical Instructions. Its objectives are: (1) to improve energy savings
and efficiency, and consequently, reduce greenhouse-effect gas emissions; (2) to limit glare and light
pollution; and (3) to reduce intrusive or annoying light levels. Moreover a strategy, known as the Energy
Saving and Efficiency Strategy (E4) was also defined [6], which established a series of standard actions
aimed at improving the energy system. The target set in this Plan was to achieve a consumption of
75 kWh per inhabitant per year. Its main measures were: (1) to establish a program of replacement of
existing external public lighting equipment, based on obsolete technologies, with other more up-to-date
and efficient equipment; (2) implementation of energy audits; and (3) to set up and run energy training
courses for municipal technicians and the maintenance managers of municipal installations.
Sanchez de Miguel [7], who defined a procedure to estimate the energy consumption in public electric
lighting in Spain from 1992 to 2012, came to the conclusion that the most populated provinces appeared
to have begun to stabilize the growth of their expenditure on public lighting, but that this had no occurred
in the less populated provinces where this expense continued to rise at a similar rate despite the economic
crisis. The general trend of Spain during the last eighteen years had been one of nearly constant growth.
One of the purposes defined by the strategy was to promote the use of more efficient equipment.
Analysing the lighting level control devices installed in the Community of Andalusia, for example, it is
possible to observe that 64% of the installations do not have voltage regulators [8]. This sort of devices
allows the amount of energy consumed to be reduced when the conditions are appropriate, for example
when the number of vehicles does not exceed some predetermined quantity.
Neither of the regulations mentioned before have obtained the expected results. To help with this
issue, the aim of this manuscript is to detect any aspects that the previous regulations might have
overlooked. These aspects have been analysed form the point of view of energy efficiency and energy
consumption. If these new considerations were to be included in future updated versions of the
Energies 2015, 8 978
regulations, we are sure that the quality of street lighting would be similar to the standards of other
European countries which are doing quite well in this area. The remainder of this paper is organized as
follows: Section 2 presents the related work, Section 3 describes the main elements of our study and
finally Section 4 contains the conclusions.
2. Related Work
The related work is divided into two parts: the first part analyses the different proposals to measure
energy efficiency and the second part shows the strengths of some foreign street lighting standards. There
are only a few European countries that have provisions addressing the energy efficiency of the whole
street lighting system, among them Spain and The Netherlands [9]. Hence, the first part shows the
different methodologies used to measure the energy efficiency. The way proposed by the Slovenian
government in 2007 [10] consisted in measuring the annual energy consumption per citizen per year.
The main disadvantage of this proposal is that for areas with high population density it is easier to achieve
lower level values than for areas with low population density. Another way was presented by Silva [11],
who developed a tool which can assess street lighting performance in the context of energy efficiency.
This tool uses three indicators: one to evaluate lighting performance and two others to evaluate energy
performance, one being luminaire coverage and efficiency and the other lighting control devices.
The only shortcoming of this tool is that the score used for lighting control devices has only two
valueszero or onedepending on whether the installation has (one) or does not have (zero) this kind
of devices. In the research carried out by Pracki [12], a new classification system based on the installed
and normalised power densities was proposed. Although he claimed that energy consumption depends
on the burning hours, he did not take that into account in his proposal. Different criteria were used in a
German road lighting competition [13], where the energy efficiency of the street lighting was defined as
the amount of energy consumption per kilometre per year in kWh/(km × Y), and the energy used (kWh)
to produce a certain luminous flux over time. Besides, in the research carried out by Kyba [14] the same
definition of efficiency in urban street lighting (kilowatt hours per kilometre per year) was also proposed
because this measure allows assessment of all the elements that influence energy consumption. For the
case of Spain [5], energy efficiency is based on the lit-up surface, average illuminance and the total
active power installed.
There are a lot of options to define energy efficiency, but it seems to be impossible to use just one
measure to describe the energy efficiency of street lighting systems [15], although all of them have the
same goal of reducing the energy consumption without sacrificing the visibility conditions and comfort.
This article is focused on the main devices which influence energy consumption with the purpose of
improving the energy efficiency considering the current Spanish regulations.
The second part shows the strengths of different street lighting standards compared with the
Spanish Regulation already implemented. The Technical Regulation of Lighting and Street Lighting
(RETILAP) [16] from Colombia incorporates a section to establish the coexistence between luminaires
and trees. The Public Lighting Design Manual from Hong Kong [17] defines the design layout
(single-sided, staggered, opposite and twin-central) regarding the mounting height of the luminaire.
Another strength of this Manual is that it defines the distance between luminaires and fire hydrants in
order to not to block their operation. Minnesota’s Energy Law [18] establishes that a lamp with initial
Energies 2015, 8 979
efficiency less than 70 lumens per watt must be replaced when worn out by light sources using lamps
with initial efficiency of at least 70 lumens per watt. The Spanish regulations established that the new
lamps shall have an initial efficiency of at least 65 lumens per watt.
3. Main Elements
An analysis of the main elements is necessary to understand how each component affects the final
energy consumption. These elements are divided as follows: lamps, ballast, street lamp globes, hours of
operation, lighting level control devices and renewable energies. To be sure about their involvement in
the final energy consumption, each component was studied individually. Then, after studying how each
component influences the final energy, different criteria to save energy were established. According to
Boyce [19], there are four options to save energy: changes in technology, in patterns of use, standards
and basis of design, but from our point of view, changes to the basis of design require a careful
reconsideration of what such lighting is for and how it might best be achieved, so each element was
studied excluding the fourth option.
3.1. Lamps
There is no doubt that lamps are the most representative component of street lighting. There are
several types of lamps on the market which can be used on this kind of installation, including, among
others, high pressure mercury (HPM), high pressure sodium (HPS), low pressure sodium (LPS), metal
halide (MH) and light-emitting diode (LED) lamps. At present, in street lighting applications, HPS and
MH lamps are the most widely used light sources. LEDs are fast developing light sources and are
considered a promising light source for general lighting, although this kind of source on the market is
not that cheap yet. Currently, HPS lamps are the dominant light source used in road lighting because of
the long lamp lifetime and high luminous efficacy. MH lamps offer high luminous efficacy and good
color rendering properties [20].
There are two different options to save energy in the case of lamps: changing the standards and
changing the technology; for example, the British Standard BS 5489 [21] allows reducing the required
lighting class when the color rendering index (CRI) of the lamp is higher than 60 (white light) [22].
On the other hand, the Hong Kong regulations only allow reducing it if the lamp has a CRI equal to or
greater than 80 [17]. This reduction is only permitted on subsidiary roads. If the current Spanish standard
took into account this reduction, the illuminance level would be reduced by at least 25%. Table 2 shows
the reduction of illuminance level.
Analysing Table 2, we notice that there are two more lighting classes in the British standard than in
the Spanish standard. These lighting classes are S5 and S6. In this respect, we must agree with the Royal
Decree because 40% of night-time street crime occurs when lighting levels are at 5 lux or
below [23]. Before recommending the incorporation of this advantage into the Spanish standard, it is
necessary to be sure that this change does not decrease the quality of the installations. There are several
researches that confirm the benefits of white light. One of them is the study conducted by Godfrey [24],
who concluded that driver reactions with cool white light are more efficient than with “warm”
coloured light.
Energies 2015, 8 980
Table 2. Illuminance savings by reducing lighting class.
Lighting class
Lighting class
level (lux)
New illuminance
level (lux)
savings (%)
Lewis [25] also reported the results of reaction time tests where detection of a pedestrian was
conducted using MH, HPM, HPS and LPS. He found an approximately 50% increase in reaction time
for sodium sources versus MH, at a luminance level of 0.1 cd/sq.m. At a relatively high lighting level of
1 cd/sq.m, he reported an increase in reaction time of approximately 15% of HPS versus MH, and 25%
for LPS versus MH. In our opinion, there are several evidences that prove the benefits of the white light
yet the current Spanish Standard does not include it. This should be incorporated in order to improve the
energy efficiency.
Related to changes in the technology, it is necessary to guarantee that these changes do not decrease
the amount of light output. The best parameter to compare two kinds of lamps without decreasing the
luminous flux is the luminous efficacy of the lamp. This parameter is the quotient luminous flux emitted
by the power consumed by the source, unit lumen per Watt [26]. Table 3 shows the main features of the
different kinds of lamps.
Table 3. Main features of the different kind of lamps.
Lamp type
Luminous efficacy (lum/W)
Colour rendering index (CRI)
Luminous efficacy is also used by the Spanish regulations [5], where the minimum values specified
is 65 lum/W. As it can be seen in Table 3, HPM lamps do not comply with the requirements, so it does
not make sense for this kind of lamp to appear in the Spanish standard. In the case that lighting designers
wanted to change the kind of lamp, they may follow this criterion because it is possible to find lamps
with the same or higher luminous flux and less power consumption. For example, by simply replacing
common bulbs with energy-saving LED lamps one can reduce energy consumption by up to 80% [27].
3.2. Ballast
All kinds of lamps require a ballast to operate correctly. For this reason, the presence of this device
in street lighting systems is indispensable to ignite the discharge and control the lamp. Ballast devices
can be divided mainly into two types: electromagnetic and electronic. Electronic ballasts are considered
more energy efficient than electromagnetic ballasts, and for this reason they have been promoted as
replacements the latter, to the point that some countries have changed their regulations to encourage their
Energies 2015, 8 981
use. Other advantages are that electronic ballasts produce no flicker effects and provide an instantaneous
startup [28]. Due to the fact that electromagnetic ballasts have high power loss from the iron and copper
losses in the magnetic choke, they are 10%15% less efficient than electronic ballasts [29,30]. To verify
that the power of electronic ballasts is lower than that of electromagnetic ballasts, different ballasts were
studied of Philips [31]. Table 4 shows the power savings for two different LPS lamp powers.
Table 4. Power savings using electronic ballasts with LPS lamps.
Lamp type & power (W)
Electromagnetic ballast power (W)
Electronic ballast power (W)
Power saving
1 × SOX 35 W
1 × SOX 55 W
These power savings are under nominal conditions and although they might be considered
insignificant, they should be taken into account because the power saving percentage in the case of a
55 W SOX is 18%. To analyze the benefit of this replacement under normal conditions, the research
carried out by Omar [32] was studied. They examined the energy consumption of 277 units of
250 W HPS for a month. The energy consumption with electromagnetic ballasts was 30,913.2 kWh and
the energy used with electronic ballasts was 20,172.7 kWh. Therefore in this case the energy saving was
34.74%. Besides, there are other researchers that have studied the benefits regarding the supply voltage.
A good example is the research done by Dolora [33], who studied the savings for HPS 150 W lamps.
This research concluded that the supply voltage bears on in the final energy consumption.
Table 5 shows the power variation regarding the supply voltage.
Table 5. Power variation between electronic and electromagnetic ballasts [33].
Supply voltage
Electromagnetic ballast
Electronic ballast
Power variation
Power (W)
Illuminance (lx)
Power (W)
Illuminance (lx)
As it can be seen, when the supply voltage is 250 V, the percentage of power variation is 24.4%,
this means that the luminaire power can vary by up to 49.9 W. The problem with the Royal Decree [5]
is that it only specifies the maximum power per luminaire, when in our opinion the maximum ballast
power should be specified because designers sometimes are not aware if the kind of ballast that satisfies
the requirements. Table 6 shows a good example.
Table 6. Luminaire power for different kind of ballasts.
Nominal lamp
Maximum lamp power
allowed (R.D 1890) [5]
Lamp power plus
electromagnetic ballast (W)
Lamp power plus electronic
ballast power (W)
1 × SOX 35 W
42 W
46.7 W
38.7 W
1 × SOX 55 W
65 W
74.5 W
60.5 W
Energies 2015, 8 982
As it can be appreciated, lighting designers must pay attention when choosing the ballast because
although the maximum power is defined, the luminaire power must be checked because in the analyzed
case the installation of electromagnetic ballasts would not satisfy the minimum requirements.
3.3. Street Lamp Globes
Although people believe that street lamp globes do not influence energy consumption, the choice of
this part is very important because it influences the upward reflected light and thereby light pollution.
Light pollution is not simply any astronomical or ecological light pollution, because enormous amounts
of energy are wasted with light pollution. For example, at the end of the 1990s the amount of sky glow
over Sapporo, Japan was equivalent to 15 million kWh of energy, 29 million kWh over London, UK and
38 million kWh over Paris, France [34]. The total amount used for public outdoor lighting in Helsinki,
Finland is roughly 170 million kWh, meaning that all Helsinki could be illuminated with just five days
of the “waste light” of Paris. The light sent upward is thus estimated to produce economic losses worth
billions of euros every year [35]. The best option to save energy regarding the light pollution is by
changing standards. The current Croatian regulation establishes lower levels than the Spanish regulations.
Table 7 compares the maximum upward light ratio of the installation (ULR) for Croatia [36] and Spain [5].
Table 7. Maximum percentage of ULR for Croatia and Spain.
Croatia standard
Spanish standard
Classification zone
Maximum ULR (%)
Classification zone
Maximum ULR (%)
Not exist
As it can be appreciated, the maximum percentage of ULR in Spain is higher than in Croatia.
Although Croatia is not the country with the strictest regulations, in our opinion the Spanish regulation
should incorporate at least the minimum level established in the Croatian rules.
The Chilean D.S.N° 686/98 regulation [37] defines that a lamp with a luminous flux equal to or less
than 15,000 Lm cannot emit more than 0.8% of its nominal flux above horizontal level when installed
in a luminaire. Lamps with a luminous flux of more than 15,000 Lm should not emit more than 1.8%
of their nominal flux above horizontal level when installed in a luminaire.
In 2007 Slovenia adopted a law (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia, No. 81/2007) aimed at
tackling light pollution. The law requires that 0% of the output of a luminaire should shine above the
horizon (90°) [38].
To analyze how ULR influences this kind of installation, several simulations were done with the
DIALux software. The analysis consisted in studying what happens if the luminaire has the
same kind of lamp and the street lighting globes are different. The model of the studied luminaire was
the CitySpirit Modern (Philips, Amsterdam, The Netherlands), the street lighting globes were four
and the kind of lamp was LED. Figure 1 shows the average illuminance regarding the ULR for
22 X XR-E-PE/WW, 22 X XR-E-Q3/NW and 22 X XR-E-Q5/CW lamps.
Energies 2015, 8 983
Figure 1. Illuminance regarding the ULR.
As it can be seen for this luminaire model, if the ULR increases, the average illuminance decreases,
but the lamp power and the lit-up surface were the same for the three simulations, therefore the energy
efficiency bears upon the ULR. Another model of lamp analyzed was the Urbana (Philips) and again
ULR was studied and the same performance can be appreciated, the street lighting globes were two in
this case and the lamp was an HPL-N80W. Table 8 shows the results.
Table 8. ULR regarding the street lamp globes.
Total lamp
E average
It is possible to think that as the system flux is higher in the second option than in the first option, the
average illuminance would be higher than the first one, but the reality is that as this sort of street lighting
globes does not have any device to avoid the light pollution, and thus the average illuminance is lower
than in the first case. From our point of view, ULR magnitude should be taken into account for the
energy label, because with the current systems only assess the illuminance on the lit-up surface.
3.4. Hours of Operation
The current Spanish standard [5] includes three possible devices for that purpose: astronomic time
switches, twilight switches and remote management systems for electrical boards. Astronomic time
switches turns lights on and off with a fixed time offset from sunrise and sunset. To estimate the daily
hours of sunrise and sunset the latitude and longitude are needed because of the movement of the Sun,
as it can be seen on the sunrise sunset calculator program tool [39].
Twilight switches measure the amount of natural light available to turn on and off the lamps regarding
this level. As happens with astronomic time switches, it is possible to establish an approximation of the
number of burning hours using the latitude and the level of natural light required to turn the system on
or off [40]. An option to decrease the hours of operation and therefore to save energy with this kind of
Energies 2015, 8 984
device is by changing the use pattern. Angus Council (U.K.) [41] studied the trimming of photocells; the
factory setting of the switch on/switch off levels are 70 lux on and 35 lux off (70/35). By reducing the
switch ratio to 35/18 they could typically save 92 burning hours per year per luminaire. The Institution
of Lighting Professionals (ILP) [42] estimated that if the switching levels were reduced 35/16, a saving
of 1%2% per luminaire could be achieved. This regulation is not recommended for older lamp types
such as LPS and HPM operating on conventional ballasts. Such installations should be operated at
70 lux on and 35 lux off as a minimum to allow the lamps to fully run up by the time the lighting is
required. The only drawback of the previous studies is that they did not specify the latitude. This lack of
information was solved in the study carried out by American Electric Lighting (AEL) [43] because the
latitude was taken into account in the results. Table 9 shows the hours of operation at latitude 35°
(Los Angeles, California) for various photocell settings.
Table 9. Hours of operation regarding the twilight settings [39].
On (lux)
Off (lux)
Hours of operation
Remote management systems are composed by a server-client architecture system for monitoring,
detecting, controlling and communicating problems instantly to a central control room or directly to
maintenance technicians [44]. Telemanagement integration in street lighting networks of small cities has
hardly been developed both in a conceptual and applicative way, especially due to limited economical
resources of local communities which have become responsible for too many new tasks, public
illumination being one of them [45].
The hours of operation depend on these devices which also consume energy. Analyzing the data
of the manufacturer ORBIS [46], it can be appreciated that the power consumptions are very similar
independently of the kind of device. Table 10 shows the power consumption.
Table 10. Power consumption of street lighting control systems.
Self-Consumption (VA)
Remote Management
As each device uses different technology and criteria to turn on and off, the hours of operation
established for each device will be different. We have measured the natural light level during different
Energies 2015, 8 985
days with the purpose of understanding the operation of each device. Figure 2a shows the natural light
level several days at sunrise and Figure 2b shows the natural light level of several days at sunset, where
the data of both figures were measured in Madrid (Spain) in September 2014. A PCE-174 (ORBIS)
digital illuminance meter was used to obtain the data.
Figure 2. Natural light level during the sunrise (a); and during the sunset (b) in Madrid.
As it can be seen, the tendency is different for each day because of the weather conditions are different
and therefore climate bears upon the natural light levels. In that aspect we agree with Howell [40] that
the weather conditions are even more significant than latitude in determining days. Hence the main
drawback of astronomic time switches is that they do not take into account the real level of natural light.
Besides, analyzing in detail the data of the previous trimming, Table 11 shows the time when the natural
light reached a certain value. It can be seen, trimming the photocells allows decreased the hours of
operation, while on the other hand natural light level reached 35 lux twice on 21 September. This issue
is the main problem of photocells because undulations in light level can cause erratic operation, but this
can be solved with the controller.
Table 11. Time when the natural light reached a certain value.
18 (lux)
35 (lux)
Savings Minutes
70 (lux)
35 (lux)
Savings Minutes
19 September 2014
2 min
3 min
20 September 2014
1 min
3 min
21 September 2014
2 min
20:24 and 20:27
22 September 2014
1 min
3 min
23 September 2014
4 min
3 min
As it can be seen, photocell trimming could save approximately 4 min per day. This means that the
amount of burning hours may reduce by 24 per year.
Energies 2015, 8 986
3.5. Lighting Level Control Devices
There are three different types of level control devices contemplated in the Spanish standard [5]:
series inductive type ballasts for dual power level, power controlled electronic ballasts and regulators
and stabilizers in the head of the line.
The main problem of using ballasts for dual power levels is that these systems act locally, requiring
an adjustment device attached to each of the individual charges and also a general control system to
control all of them [47]. Regulators and stabilizers are able to control the voltage according to different
parameters such as number of vehicles per hour [48], weather conditions or the presence of
pedestrians [49]. Their operation consists of hanging the input mains voltage to a variable voltage within
the range from 220 to 170 V [50]. Those changes are accompanied by variations of illuminance and
lamp power. Figure 3 shows the working of these sort of systems, where it can be seen their potential on
energy savings.
The main advantage of stabilizer lighting systems is that they are able to avoid overvoltage situations.
The research carried out in China [51] showed how, despite the fact the nominal voltage is established
at 230 V like in Spain, it reached values as high as 246 V. This overvoltage situation is the main reason
for the shortened lifetime of lamps.
Figure 3. Regulator and stabilizer devices.
Taking into account that the energy savings depend on input voltage, it is necessary to define the
input voltage in order to satisfy the minimum luminous flux level allowed. According to Bacelar [52],
the minimum luminous flux level should be established at 50%, because it was shown that this dimming
does not seem to have a great influence to the visibility of observers nor drivers. Furthermore this
minimum level coincides with the current standard [5]. Following the recommendations of General
Electric [53], the minimum voltage regarding the kind of lamp is shown in Table 12.
Table 12. Minimum voltage regarding the kind of lamp according to GE [53].
Kind of lamp
Minimum voltage (Vac)
Energies 2015, 8 987
Analyzing in detail the research conducted by Yan [50], who studied the characteristics of HPS lamps
of 50, 70, 100, 150, 250 and 400 W dimming the voltage. It can be observed that the percentage of light
output decreases more than 50% for 180 Vac in the case of HPS and MH. Figure 4 shows the percentage
of light output for the case of 50 and 70 W HPS lamps.
Figure 4. Lamp power, light output and minimum voltage for HPS lamps (50 and 70 W).
Therefore the minimum voltages showed in Table 12 are not completely right because they do not
satisfy the minimum requests impose by the current standard. In our opinion the minimum voltage for
each kind of lamp should be the values shown in Table 13.
Table 13. Minimum voltage to decrease the light output 50%.
Kind of lamp
Minimum voltage (Vac)
Decrease luminosity flux (%)
From our point of view, the unique shortcoming of Spanish standard [5] regarding lighting level
control devices is that it does not specify when it can be used. If we followed the recommendations of
the Dutch ministry, dimmable road lighting systems could operate at 20% when the density of traffic at
night is low, at 100% when the traffic density is high and 200% when there is a combination of high
traffic density and exceptional conditions such as fog. The conclusions were that 20% light level has no
negative safety effects and is sufficient for low traffic density but 200% light level is not justified because
the cost is high and the safety improvements are marginal at best [54]. Another project [55] also
investigated the effect of dimming, the lighting level setting were determined as follows; 100% when there
are more than 3000 vehicles per hour, 75% when the range of vehicles is 30001500 and 50% when the
number of vehicles per hour is lower than 1500. Following both projects and observing the behavior of
Spanish roads, Figure 5 shows the number of vehicles per hour of a road in the Community of Murcia.
Energies 2015, 8 988
Figure 5. Number of vehicles per hour in a road from the Community of Murcia [56].
As it can be seen, lighting level control devices can operate perfectly from 1:00 am to 5:00 am,
because the number of vehicles decreases considerably. In this aspect, the Croatian normative [57]
specifies that if the local government does not prescribe a schedule, the street lighting must be turned
off or reduced by 50% at least at 1:00 am. In our opinion, it should be mandatory within the Spanish
normative that lighting level control devices reduce the light levels at least from 1:00 am, because most
of the time the conditions allow it.
3.6. Renewable Energies
The global necessity for energy savings requires the usage of renewable sources in many applications
and outdoor lighting installations are no exception. Spain, owing to its location and climate, is one of the
countries in Europe with the most abundant solar resources [58]. Global solar irradiation on a horizontal
plane is estimated as being between 1.48 and 3.56 kW/m2 day in Spain.
The solar energy option may be the best solution in the case of an autonomous street lighting system
because of the long life time, easy installation and modularity [59]. This sort of renewable energy allows
reducing the CO2 emissions considerably and thus the energy consumption. A good example of the
benefits of solar energy in street lighting is the research carried out by Nunoo [60], who achieved energy
savings per day of 603 kWh. Analysing in detail the research carried out by Constantinos [61],
who optimized a photovoltaic system for street lighting, the total autonomous days of operation may
reach up to 315 per year. In other words, in this case the energy savings were about 86%.
On the other hand, maintenance of the photovoltaic panels is very important, because dust effects
reduce the performance of solar panels. The research carried out by Al-Almmri [62] shows that the losses
of the output power of the fixed solar panel can reach 26% for one month. As well, their orientation can
cause a considerable loss of efficiency. Likewise, the slope of the panel should be changed two to four
times a year to maximize the solar absorption, since the optimum slope in the summer is not the same as
the optimum one in the winter [63]. These drawbacks can be solved with regular maintenance.
Outdoor lighting can be supplied with other kinds of renewable sources or even a combination of
several types of renewable sources like the research performed by Al-Fatlawi [64], who combined solar
and wind energy. Power systems which include photovoltaic systems and wind turbines typically include
Energies 2015, 8 989
energy storage devices so that loads can be operated when solar energy is not available or when wind
velocities are too low to generate power [65].
Nowadays, renewable energies are indispensable to satisfy the normative for buildings, however
the Royal Decree [5] overlooks this subject in the field of street lighting. Previous research shows that
the incorporation of solar energy for street lighting is an incredible opportunity to reduce energy
consumption and improve the quality.
4. Conclusions
Following the completion of this paper, this study has shown some aspects that they should be
incorporated into the Spanish Standards to improve the quality of street lighting. The related work allows
us to know that there are other important aspects that the Spanish normative does not contemplate, such as
the minimum distance between luminaires and trees, or the minimum distance between luminaires and fire
hydrants. These recommendations could be considered irrelevant but any step forward makes headway.
Regarding lamps, white light is a new concept that benefits when lamps have a color rendering index
higher than 60. The incorporation of this subject could reduce the illuminance level at least 25% for
subsidiary roads. This advantage has been incorporated within the British Standard and in Hong Kong,
now it is the time for Spain. Furthermore, we have noted that the British Standard considers two more
lighting classes than the Spanish Standard.
In relation to ballasts has been corroborated that electronic ballasts consume less energy than
electromagnetic ones. Although this power saving may be considered insignificant, the example
analyzed obtained a power savings of 18% regarding the luminaire power with electromagnetic ballast.
The weakness of the Spanish standard is that it only specifies the maximum luminaire power. Hence
designers must take into account the choice of the kind of ballast because although the maximum power
is defined, it is very easy exceed the maximum luminaire power value.
Concerning light pollution, Spain is not very strict and should be more rigorous. The simulations done
with DIALux verify that ULR bears upon the illuminance and therefore if the Spanish regulation were
stricter regarding light pollution, street lighting systems would improve in quality.
Related to hours of operation each device works using a different technology and therefore the
hours of operation are different in each device. Moreover, it has been corroborated thanks to the measures of
natural light using a digital illuminance meter that weather conditions are even more significant than latitude
in determining days. The recommended trimmings have been corroborated and photocell trimming may save
24 h per year. This action allows one to decrease the energy consumption while maintaining good service.
Finally, the benefits of lighting level control devices is shown, while on the other hand it is required
to be careful with the input voltage value because if the trimming is too low, the illuminance would not
satisfy the minimum requirements and could affect the visibility of drivers and observers. Moreover
1:00 am to 5:00 am was defined from as the best period to use them. We wish to highlight that the
Spanish normative should encourage the use of renewable energies for street lighting.
The authors want to thank the effort and the support that the Ferrovial Company deposited in the
Department of Computer Sciences for the Ciudad 2020 project. Besides, we are grateful to PCE Iberica
Energies 2015, 8 990
S.L. for the donation of the digital illuminance meter (PCE-174) and acknowledge the help of the people
who revised the English language of this manuscript.
Author Contributions
Alberto Gutierrez-Escolar has contributed to the sections on lamps and renewable energies,
Ana Castillo-Martinez has developed the ballast section, Jose Maria Gutierrez-Martinez has developed
the hours of operations section and Jose M. Gomez-Pulido has obtained the natural light data and finally
Zlatko Stapic has been the person in charge of finding the differences between the Spanish Standard and
the rest of the regulations. Jose-Amelio Medina-Merodio has contributed to the section on street lamps
globes. All the authors were involved in preparing the manuscript.
Color Rendering Index
High Pressure Mercury
High Pressure Sodium
Low Pressure Sodium
Light-Emitting Diode
Metal Halide
Royal Decree
Upward Light Ratio
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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... In other research, lighting was studied for educational buildings in Malaysia [1], [22], India [23], Thailand [24], and Sri Lanka [25]. In further research, street lighting was studied, including that in Italy [26], Sri Lanka [25], Spain [27]and Libya [28]. Improving the energy efficiency in buildings will result in (a) less energy consumption while maintaining the comfort levels, (b) savings in terms of energy and money, and (c) reduction of harmful emissions [29]. ...
... Studies began to find the Diversity Factor of the distribution system [30]. Then to study the maximum load of residential units [27]. Previous studies led to the conclusion that rationalizing consumption and using appropriate alternatives, especially renewable energies, is the solution. ...
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With 9.4 fatalities per billion vehicle-kilometres travelled, NZ is 19th out of 23 OECD countries. This poor performance is generally explained by NZ's low population density and lack of economic ability to spend enough per km of roading. Evidence supports insufficient road lighting and its low quality being a significant contributor NZ's poor injury and fatality statistics.
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High-pressure sodium lamps are currently the main lamps used in public lighting. However, the possibility of using high-power light emitting diode (LEDs) for street lighting is growing continuously due to their greater energy efficiency, robustness, long life and light control. The aim of this paper is to study the power quality of high-power lighting networks based on LED and high-pressure sodium lamps. Both electromagnetic and dimmable electronic ballasts, which can dim the lamp output smoothly and uniformly, have been used connected to high-pressure sodium lamps. High-pressure sodium lamps connected to electronic equipment have been tested with different arc power levels using dimming on a 230 V power supply. The study presented in this paper is completely based on measurements, including harmonic currents in the frequency range up to 150 kHz for all the technologies. The main results show a broadband spectrum in LED lamps which confirms other research in fluorescent lamps powered by high-frequency ballasts. Results also indicate a decrease in the harmonic value with increasing harmonic order, and a decrease in the harmonic value at half load (60%) compared with full load (100%). Although total harmonic distortion of the current is lower with high-pressure sodium lamps connected to electronic rather than electromagnetic ballasts, LED lamps achieved the lowest total harmonic distortion of current.
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Improvements in the luminous efficiency of outdoor lamps might not result in energy savings or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The reason for this is a rebound effect: when light becomes cheaper, many users will increase illumination, and some previously unlit areas may become lit. We present three policy recommendations that work together to guarantee major energy reductions in street lighting systems. First, taking advantage of new technologies to use light only when and where it is needed. Second, defining maximum permitted illuminances for roadway lighting. Third, defining street lighting system efficiency in terms of kilowatt hours per kilometer per year. Adoption of these policies would not only save energy, but would greatly reduce the amount of light pollution produced by cities. The goal of lighting policy should be to provide the light needed for any given task while minimizing both the energy use and negative environmental side effects of the light.
Conference Paper
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Street lighting design aims to ensure adequate night visibility conditions for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well as to improve security conditions for persons, goods and property in the neighbourhood. In addition to this, and in order to meet concerns about environmental protection and sustainable development, the design of street lighting should take into account the optimization of its energy efficiency, as excessive energy usage is associated with an increase in polluting emissions, namely CO2. Considering that street lighting generally presents a significant consumption of electricity that is often possible to reduce, the use of good design practices which will maximize the efficiency of lighting equipments and accessories as well as minimize the upward light emissions and adjust the intensity of lighting according to outdoor needs is crucial. The main goal of this work is to present a new simple tool which can assess street lighting performance in the context of energy efficiency. Three indicators were developed: one to evaluate lighting performance and two others to evaluate energy performance. These indicators were quantified and combined according to weighting and aggregation procedures, resulting in a synthetic score for the street lighting design. The assessment tool was applied to a business park located in Viana do Castelo, in Portugal, and the results are discussed. Keywords: street lighting, street lighting design, street lighting assessment, energy efficiency.
Conference Paper
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This paper deals with the study of the dust characteristics and its effect on the performance of street photovoltaic cells in Baghdad-Iraq. Sample of accumulated dust on the surface of the solar panels at height 26 meters have been microscopy examined with 100x magnification. The results show that, varies in size, shape and disruption. The morphology of dust particles has irregular forms, tends to be spherical and not all of them are completely opaque. VOC (group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature), which is most of them comes from the refineries causes a large adhesion to the dust particles in the installed solar panel.
In general terms, energy efficiency could be regarded as the ratio of the amount or the value of goods produced or services provided to the energy consumed. In the first sense, luminous efficacy is a measure which describes the energy efficiency of a light source (taking into account the additional energy consumed by the control gear if required). In consequence, an energy efficiency measure could be derived as the ratio of the energy consumed during a given time span to the produced/delivered amount of luminous flux, which allows to take into account the variation of the system efficacy over time due to changes of the mode of operation. On the other hand, if lighting is regarded as a service provided, it means the provision of a (required or requested) lighting level (in quantity and quality) in a well defined area (of an interior or an exterior) over a specified time span. In this case the consumed electric energy per time unit, in relation to the reference area and in relation to the lighting level can serve as an energy efficiency measure. Here it is of great importance to consider all relevant influencing factors, such as efficacies and maintenance factors of the light sources, luminous intensity distributions, light output ratios and maintenance factors of the luminaires, installation geometries, modes of operation, and operating times. Due to the large diversity of outdoor areas, tasks, and activities, different energy efficiency measures will be preferable under different circumstances. Examples are given for a number of outdoor lighting applications taking into account the new concepts of adaptive lighting.
The use of photoelectric devices to control street lights has grown rapidly in recent years. Many new types of devices have been developed but, in several areas, there is uncertainty as to how they can best be used. An analysis of the character of natural light at dusk and dawn is presented, and criteria for control of street lights is defined so that the user may evaluate the control devices to best advantage.