Pålsjö Skog is a 70-acre nature reserve on the northern outskirts of Helsingborg. The forest mainly consists of old oak, beech and alder trees and is home to a variety of wildlife, including several endangered species of bats. It is also a popular recreational destination thanks to its network of hiking, running and cycling trails.
In 2020, due to the popularity of the trails and the long winter nights, the local authorities decided to invest in energy saving lighting that would enable residents to safely move along the paths all year long. It was critical however that the lighting preserve the vulnerable species living in the forest.
Smart lighting to ensure safety with minimal energy
The city opted to install 340 TECEO luminaires along the trail paths thanks to their high-performance with little energy. They ensure perfect visibility so residents and visitors can hike, run, bike or simply connect with nature in this wonderful environment.
All of the luminaires are controlled by the Schréder EXEDRA smart lighting system to reduce the light levels when the paths are not being used. In the heart of the forest, the luminaires are dimmed by 50% from 9.30 to 10pm and then switched off completely until 4am. They stay lit until sunrise. On the trail paths that pass by residents houses, the light is dimmed by 50% from 12am to 1am and then turned off until 4am.
By dimming and turning off the light, the city is saving energy and protecting its dark skies and wildlife.
Bat-friendly lighting to protect endangered species
Almost all of the TECEO luminaires were fitted with warm white LEDs (3000K) except in one zone where there are some bat roosts, with 7 to 8 unusual species. Research has shown that some rare bat species avoid areas lit by white light, which can stop them finding food and water or lead them to use longer routes. Street lights with cold white light also attract insects that bats feed on, reducing the supply available in their feeding areas.
In this area, 47 of the TECEO luminaires were equipped with LEDs with a colour temperature of 1870K. Red light has proved successful in helping to preserve bat species and other nocturnal wildlife in other countries while ensuring visibility for people. The red light is turned off from 11.30pm to 4am every night and then switches on at 50% of the full light levels until sun rise for the early risers.
Calluna, Sweden's leading natural environment consultant, has been monitoring the zone for the past two years and its research has shown that the new lighting has had no negative impact on the activity of the bats in their foraging habitat.
Collaboration is key
From the offset, we were delighted to work with Helsingborg City Council and the citys' ecologists to implement a bat-friendly lighting solution that would specifically preserve the rare and light-shy species.
The smart lighting will also minimise energy consumption for the city, helping it to achieve its sustainability goals.