How light can play a part in engaging locals and visitors alike in your city
#Public Spaces    21/02/2020

How light can play a part in engaging locals and visitors alike in your city

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This year’s CEMR (Congress of European Municipalities and Regions) congress will take place in Innsbruck, and the theme is “Local Action. Global Shift.”

Sustainable cities, creating strategies tailored to local needs, and “creating your dream city” are all agenda items that are sure to provoke a great deal of discussion.

In advance of CEMR, though, how can you use light to help you meet some of your sustainable development goals (SDGs)?

Here are three ideas to get you started.

Make sure that you’re only using LEDs for your lighting

LEDs have been around for a while now, but some cities and municipalities are still holding on to their incandescent bulbs. Unlike incandescent bulbs, LEDs have no filaments, which is good because  filament-based lighting consumes more power than LEDs for the light produced. That means that LEDs are far more efficient in consumption and output.

As an added bonus, LEDs stay relatively cool in comparison to incandescent bulbs, which have filaments that start to glow when the electricity is turned on, generating heat, in turn, producing light. That means that LEDs result in fewer burns and that can only be a good thing.

LED lighting uses less energy and well-made products like those from MK Illumination last longer. That means that if you want to bring your city to life by decorating facades, or illuminating seasonal events like Christmas, using LED lighting solutions is much more sustainable: good for the planet, good for your budget, and good for people in your city, too.

Our SDG tip: if you’re using incandescent bulbs for your city lighting, switch to LEDs

Consider public art that integrates light to create a sustainable experience that people can enjoy day and night

We’ve already discussed how important public art can be in defining the identity of a city, sharing cultural values, and making public spaces pleasurable places to enjoy and explore. But often, public art only works well by day. At night, it’s either hard to see or you need to install special lighting to bring it to life.

Overcome this problem by combining art and light. LED light sculptures and light art can be designed by local artists and implemented by companies like MK Illumination to give you year-round art that draws crowds year-round and that has a low CO2 footprint, too. Oh, and LED light art lasts and lasts: it truly is the gift that keeps  on giving.

Our SDG tip: combine light and public art to create extra-special installations that both locals and visitors can enjoy.

Sustainable Christmas lighting

Sustainability is a big topic and we can’t pretend to have solved all the issues around making Christmas lighting sustainable. What we do know is that using LED lighting products instantly makes your festive illuminations more sustainable – lower energy and longer lasting – so that’s a good place to start.

Beyond that, though, we’re also quite keen on two of the 5 Rs: reuse and repurpose.

First, REUSE your Christmas lighting. If you have LED lighting products, don’t simply throw them away. Here at MK Illumination, we work with cities every year to help them use existing products in innovative ways to create brand new festive lighting experiences, sometimes combining them with new highlights year on year to keep things fresh and interesting.

Second, REPURPOSE. If you really need to do something completely different for your city illuminations, don’t throw your old lighting away. Speak to our team and let’s work out how you can repurpose your lighting: perhaps you can illuminate a façade, create a year-round display in a special part of the city, or even run a competition for local artists and artisans to transform your once-upon-a-time Christmas lights into a piece of public art for everyone to enjoy.

Our SDG tip: use LEDs to make your Christmas lighting more sustainable, and be sure to REUSE and REPURPOSE existing lighting to keep it out of the landfill.

Looking for more sustainable development tips?

Get in touch with our team and we’d be happy to share our knowledge and our experience of helping thousands of cities worldwide harness the power of light in a sustainable way.

And if you’re planning to be in Innsbruck in May for CEMR, why not arrange a time to chat? We’d love to show you around our showroom, introduce you to our team, and discuss how lighting can be part of the development of your sustainable city.

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