Black Forest LED Network: Evaluation of the scientific results

LED technology

New lighting concepts 
for public spaces

The lighting industry has undergone a revolution in the past few years, thanks to the rapid development of LED technology. Thanks to their high light output, colour quality and intelligent control options, LED-based lighting solutions are proving to be particularly energy-efficient in the area of street lighting and when it is a matter of providing safe and attractive lighting for urban spaces. In such cases, LEDs make an important and significant contribution to the well-being of the society at large and to the protection of the environment.

Prime example of a flagship project: Black Forest LED Network

The Black Forest LED Network in Germany is a prime example of a flagship project for the conversion of public lighting to
LED - a cooperation between the local authorities in Villingen-Schwenningen, St. Georgen, Königsfeld and Mönchweiler from the Schwarzwald-Baar region. The network is one of the ten prize winners in the 2010 competition "Communities in a new light", initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. With grants of two million Euros, the outdated street lighting was replaced with energy-efficient LED technology as a collaborative project involving the Villingen-Schwenningen Public Utility Company, the Waldmann Company, the EGT Triberg and the lighting specialists Hess. The focus of the project was the development of LED-based lighting concepts for typical street and open-space situations that can be applied to other towns and municipalities.
Scientific support for the individual measures was provided by the Faculty of Industrial Engineering at Furtwangen University (HFU), overseen by the Head of the Department for Lighting Technology at the Technical University of Darmstadt.

1,086 new LED luminaires installed

Annual energy consumption has been reduced by more than 138.000 kw/h

As part of the project implementation, a total of 1,086 LED lights were installed in the four networked communities, in both indoor and outdoor applications. This has allowed the municipalities to achieve the goal of sustainable energy-savings very quickly: Annual energy consumption across all four locations has been reduced by more than 138,000 kW/h.
The photometric measurements conducted at the same time also showed a significant improvement in light quality.

Fact box

Overall savings [kW/h]: 138.958
Overall savings [%]: 47
CO2 emission savings [tons]: 82
Installed LED luminaires: 1.086

Results of the public survey

At the same time that the photometric measurements were conducted, Furtwangen University also conducted public surveys in the affected communities regarding the old and new lighting systems, through direct interviews, online surveys and mailings. These surveys sought to gather personal impressions based on the evaluation criteria of brightness, glare, perceptions of security and the harmony between the new LED lights and the "old" lighting situation. The results of these scientifically conducted surveys have shown that the perception of the new lighting was very positive and that it enjoyed broad levels of acceptance from the society at large. The following examples of statements made in response to the survey highlight the perception of the old and the new lighting situation amongst those surveyed:

In the opinion of over 75% of those surveyed, the new lighting is suited to the situation.
That is an increase of almost 38% over the previous situation.

LED technology developed to a sufficient level for widespread application

Through the intensive collaboration between commerce and academia, the network-project has shown itself it to be an outstanding example for the successful application of modern LED technology in the public space. The installation of the new lights in residential areas, parks and town-centres demonstrates the versatility of the application options for LED-based lighting solutions when it comes to public lighting.

Further information

The specialist magazine LICHT published a comprehensive report on the Black Forest LED Network and the results of the surveys carried out following the LED implementation in its 11-12/2013 issue in the section "Science & Research".
Further information about the competition "Communities in a new light" initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research can be found under
or under