The city of Valencia has a rich and colourful history dating back to 138 BC. It is known for its magnificent architecture, both past and present, and for inventing the world-famous rice dish paella. The city surrounds Albufera Natural Park, a huge nature preserve encompassing the largest freshwater lagoon in Spain, along with sand dunes, pine forests and rice fields. It is home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna including more than 300 species of birds.
In 2013, the city of Valencia developed a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan to encourage people to walk, ride bikes, and take public transport to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions, noise, and traffic around the city’s iconic locations. To help achieve those goals, Valencia adopted a “smart city” strategy that employs smart technologies to collect and manage data to improve the quality of life and improve sustainability.
To make the city more pedestrian friendly for residents and tourists after the sun goes down, the city of Valencia launched a lighting upgrade throughout the city in 2015. However, the upgrade involved much more than just changing bulbs and adding more luminaires.
We were looking for quality lighting that would lower energy costs, support cost-effective operations, and minimise light pollution.
This last requirement was particularly important for the lighting installed in the Albufera Natural Park. The city had been using artificial white light in the blue spectrum for its street lighting. That type of light can disorient wildlife and disturb the circadian cycles of the abundant flora and fauna in the park, weakening their ability to thrive. City biologists and botanists recommended that the lights in the park have a colour temperature of 2700K, which produces a warm white light.
Scalable lighting solution to meet the challenges
The size of the installation was a major challenge for city engineers. Approximately 107,000 lights not only needed to be replaced or added, but managed. Many lighting fixtures were already in place, but the quality of the lighting was poor and not energy efficient. The light bulbs were mostly 400W and shed approximately 50% of the light into the sky, and another 25% to areas that didn’t need light, like city dwellers’ windows. Only about 25% of the light was directed to the street and footpath, where it was needed to help people walk safely. As energy costs rapidly increased, the cost of that wasted energy increased too.
The lighting situation was becoming unsustainable. We needed new lighting infrastructure that provided the right amount of light, with the highest possible uniformity, and at the lowest possible energy cost.
Along with adding more energy-efficient lighting devices, the city wanted to be able to programme specific lighting scenarios for various locations and remotely manage the entire system. That would require a management system that could scale up to more than 100,000 devices and would be able to quickly detect problems and automatically respond to the situation in seconds.
Sustainable lighting without compromising on design
The new lighting not only had to deliver the best in terms of performance, energy efficiency, installation and ease of maintenance but also ensure an aesthetic cohesion throughout the city. The city is very attached to the traditional round lanterns that characterise its identity and heritage.
Gaining smart control
The local authorities entrusted us to upgrade and expand the city’s lighting infrastructure with the Schréder EXEDRA lighting management system for both lighting and other connected devices throughout the city.
The platform had to be open - it can’t be proprietary. It also must be reliable. The platform has to have redundancy to maintain the service. And it must be scalable so it can support installing a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand, or even a hundred thousand remotely managed lighting fixtures.
Matching lighting to location
With Schréder EXEDRA, city operators remotely manage and interact with the connected street lights, defining dimming profiles for clusters of luminaires based on the specific needs for each location. These predefined scenarios interact with motion detection sensors and react in real time to external data sources, such as bird migration routes or the presence of mosquitoes, to adapt the light to the actual situation.
This IoT solution offers a powerful cloud platform capable of ingesting data and presenting it in a matter of seconds. The process is made possible through a system architecture that ensures end-to-end openness and interoperability, not only at the hardware level but also at the communications, platform, and data levels.
Creating a better environment for people, plants, and animals
The city opted for a range of our energy-efficient LED luminaires in a variety of styles to match the character and lighting needs of each area.
The local authorities were delighted as our Schréder STUDIO team were able to preserve the original BREÑA lanterns in cast iron that distinguish many of the main tourist destinations by upgrading the optic to LED technology. They also opted for the IMAGE LED, a round-shaped lantern that define the character of the city, by day and by night.
A total of 19,500 IMAGE LED luminaires and BREÑA LED optics, that had been awarded an "A" energy rating by the city council after assessment, were installed. Both luminaires also have a high Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 80%, which means that they ensure an excellent perception of colours at night to create public spaces where people want to spend time.
They were primarily installed in the city’s old town and historic sites to blend in with the magnificent architectural monuments and buildings. Fitted with warm white LEDs (2,700K), they create a welcoming nocturnal ambiance that perfectly captures the city’s spirit.
More than 150 RIVARA luminaires and bollards, also fitted with warm white LEDs (2,700K) were installed throughout Albufera Natural Park while the TECEO lights the roads bordering the park.
All the luminaires, both in the park and around the city, are designed to light walking routes while minimising excess light spill into the surroundings. This saves energy and reduces light pollution, thus protecting the flora and fauna inside the park and allowing pedestrians to enjoy the sky and the stars as they stroll through the city.
Reducing the lighting in the corridors of the natural park ensures there is no light unless someone is there, which was extremely important to protecting the environment. But it was equally important that someone walking through the park after dark could see exactly where they were going.
Better quality of life with lower costs
In addition to helping Valencia create a safer, greener, more engaging, and sustainable community, the outdoor lighting upgrade has also already achieved significant energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Since the lighting units were installed in 2015, the city has reduced its electricity consumption by 25,725 megawatt hours per year. That represents a reduction in energy consumption of more than 75%, producing savings of more than €6 million in energy costs during the first year. Better still, it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 13,403 tons of carbon dioxide (80%) per year.
We expect the savings to continue to increase as we extract more consumption data from the operation and analyse why reductions have occurred. Using the information we get from Schréder EXEDRA, we can continue to expand energy-saving activities and reduce or eliminate actions that waste energy.
Remote access to nearly real-time information about problems that arise also helps city maintenance workers respond quicker to failures. Maintenance staff do not have to wait for an inspection visit or a call from a neighbour who is tired of the street lights not working; they know immediately what part of the installation is not working and what is wrong so the issue can be resolved quicker.
Futureproof lighting platform
As the initial lighting upgrade is completed, the City of Valencia is exploring additional ways to use the Schréder EXEDRA platform to further reduce energy costs while increasing its citizens’ enjoyment of recreational sites.
We want to manage the lighting in sports fields, children’s playgrounds, and gardens throughout the city. Schréder technology will allow us to keep a very low level of lighting if no one is in the area, and then automatically increase the light level when people are present. There are several interesting projects in the pipeline that will allow us to save more energy while providing a safe environment for our citizens.