Project: Black Forest LED Network - Town of Königsfeld

The Network: a Formula for Success

Königsfeld - Exemplary Conversion to LED Lighting

The implementation of LED technology in public lighting is one of the keys to Germany achieving its ambitious climate protection objectives. This project received vital assistance at its onset from the initiative to promote the LED market by the German Department of Research and Education (BMBF) and a programme to stimulate the implementation of LED street lighting for a limited time that the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) launched.

LED Lighting Does It All for Cities

The Black Forest LED Network, one of ten winners of the BMBF's “Cities and Towns in a New Light” competition, has already converted a large proportion of their lighting to LED technology. The project demonstrates that LED technology is mature enough to serve all public lighting needs effectively.

Interestingly, the Black Forest LED Network, with its spa-resort town of Königsfeld, the county town of Villingen-Schwenningen, the City of St. Georgen, and the Town of Mönchweiler, embodies a perfect cross section of typical German municipalities.

A Systematic Approach

To succeed at their objective of attaining 100 % LED lighting in their municipalities, the LED Network partners developed a new, systematic approach. "We assumed that the lighting needs were similar for similar areas in the different towns and cities," says Mayor Fritz Link. The Network defined typical lighting situations with common characteristics. They include, existing lighting, applicable codes and environmental aspects. Analysis produced seven standard applications:
  • Centre/City or town square
  • Upscale streetscapes
  • Residential areas
  • Collector roads
  • Through roads
  • Path and walkway lighting
  • Architectural lighting
Working closely with the four municipalities, Hess put together the specifications and the concept for the new lighting systems, incorporating the aforementioned criteria as well as the BMBF and VDI (German engineers association) requirements. Hess met all the requirements of all the lighting applications with its modular LED concept, which also allowed the new lighting to blend seamlessly into the different settings and enjoy popular acceptance.

A Systematic Plan

FH Furtwangen, a university of applied sciences, assisted with the illuminance measurements, helping to assess precisely how much savings were possible with a conversion to LED lighting. "This approach enabled the municipalities to work together at choosing the lighting and control products, reducing the costs for planning significantly," explains Mayor Link the advantage of working in the LED Network. Link, whose Town of Königsfeld is nearly finished with its conversion to LED lighting, also said that having all the data and facts up front at the project's beginning ensured everything ran exactly as planned, producing the expected results.


Königsfeld converted its entire street lighting to LED technology, replacing 300 lighting fixtures with Hess Residenza SSL luminaires. The town council decided on neutral white LEDs for the residential and commercial areas. For the street lighting in the outskirts, the town went with cool white LEDs. And their choice for Zinzendorfplatz, the town's historical centre and green, was even more comprehensive. Prior to replacement, the centre's lighting was too dim and the distribution insufficient, causing undesirable shadows. The town council installed both new poles and luminaires, changing the mounting height and luminous intensity to provide a more homogeneous distribution of light without darkened areas or glare. They chose Hess' Alt Berlin, a lantern with vintage styling and an ultra modern LED module. Like its predecessor, Alt Berlin blends perfectly into its architectural surroundings, which are listed in the heritage register.

Fritz Link

Mayor of Königsfeld

"Not only did we see a chance in the BMBF's LED competition to improve our long-term environmental protection and energy usage performance through the benefits of LED technology's enormous potential, but we also felt compelled to develop a sound and sustainable comprehensive concept that other cities and towns could use."

The Results

The Numbers: 78,000 kWh Annually

Alone Königsfeld, was able to cut energy usage by as much as 78,000 kWh annually, which corresponds to a 63-percent reduction of carbon emissions.

The Public: 78 Percent Approval

"Already now, before the completion of the project, we are sure that the conversion to LED technology is an enormous success," says Link, citing not just the environmental benefits and energy efficiency, but also the public's acceptance. Together with Hess, the technology partner for the outdoor lighting, the Network succeeded in significantly improving energy efficiency and the quality of lighting. FH Furtwangen, who the Network engaged to evaluate the LED project, surveyed residents before and after the conversion. "Prior to the project's beginning, only 25 percent of the population was happy with the lighting. After the LED lighting was installed, 78 percent expressed their approval," summarises Link the results of the survey.

Further information | Black Forest LED Network's official Web site