LED Lighting to Boost Tourism and Increase Security
Strategic Lighting to Boost Tourism & Increase Security
With the economies of most modern cities very much dependent on tourism, city councils throughout the world are constantly looking at new ways to attract visitors. Dublin is no exception in this respect but is luckier than most in that it has a wealth of historical buildings and cultural landmark features of note which attract visitors from all over the world, as well as all corners of Ireland.
However, the key challenge now is how best to maximise the tourism and related business potential of this rich historical and cultural heritage without incurring prohibitive costs. The answer is quite simple — lighting.
Constantly-changing colour rendering
Today’s lighting technology and controls offer limitless opportunities which can transform buildings, monuments and even entire streetscapes into captivating, exciting and vibrant night scenes for costs which would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
There are numerous examples worldwide of how strategic lighting schemes can virtually double visitor numbers to a city by offering a whole new, ever-changing landscape which makes an autumn/winter visit and entirely different experience. Paris is renowned as the City of Light, while London, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo and more recently Singapore have all capitalised on lighting developments to increase tourism numbers.
Versatility & Fun
Such is the versatility of modern lighting technology and controls that virtually anything is possible. Apart from the obvious lighting of prominent buildings or particular landmarks, it is now possible to have colour changes to reflect the seasons or annual festive occasions and events.
Then there are the more “funky” and fun-type opportunities. For instance, Singapore has an area where the street seating changes colour when someone sits on it. Other cities have specially-lit fountains, and others light-coloured waterspouts squirting from the ground in central plaza areas.
Safety & Security
Lighting can also contribute to people/property safety by bringing an area to life. Dublin, like all modern cities, has what can best be described as “less safe” areas, many of which sit immediately adjacent to prominent areas and places/monuments of note. Lighting areas normally deemed unsafe after nightfall has proved extremely effective in reducing crime, not just against tourists but within the community at large.
Extend Catchment of Landmarks
Strategic lighting can also be used very effectively to “grow” the catchment area of such keynote buildings, monuments and plazas by extending to side streets and inter-linking streets, and encouraging a flow route which draws visitors in.
A typical example currently under consideration in Dublin is Andrews St. Carefully-designed lighting at both ends would create an attractive, inviting walkway that visitors would be sucked into without even realising it.
Energy-saving & Cost-effective
There was a time when the costs associated with extensive public lighting schemes were prohibitively expensive. However, that is no longer the case. If anything, devising carefully-planned public lighting strategies using modern-day technologies and controls can actually save city councils significant sums of money. With the infrastructure permanently in place, set-up/installation costs are a once-off investment which continue to deliver.
It is estimated that energy-efficient lighting technologies can realise savings of up to 40% over traditional lighting methods and, if combined with intelligent controls, can deliver an additional 25/30% of savings.
So, by implementing a carefully-devised lighting strategy specifically tailored to its own particular needs, Dublin city council could significantly increase its visitor numbers, make for a more vibrant and exciting living experience, improve safety in the city, and reduce its environmental footprint.