Environmentally friendly lighting solution for sustainable urban development

The people of Heidelberg have always been early adopters: in 1386 they founded Germany’s first university. Since then, the picturesque city of 160,000 on the banks of the River Neckar has continued to be a centre for new thinking; the university has produced 33 Nobel prize winners and Heidelberg is part of a global network of leading smart cities.

When the city of Heidelberg regenerated an abandoned freight area into a high-tech campus called Bahnstadt, they created one of Europe’s largest urban development projects based entirely on sustainable passive housing standards.

This new development, spread over 166 hectares of land, has created a vibrant neighbourhood with optimal living conditions thanks to accommodation for mixed incomes, offices, laboratories and shops as well as a crèche and cultural facilities. It was also designed to provide ample open spaces and play areas for the enjoyment of the community.

With sustainability at the heart of this project, Schréder helped Stadtwerke Heidelberg develop a bespoke energy-efficient lighting solution, which made sure Bahnstadt was safe and welcoming - even for local wildlife.

Max Jareckie Strasse


Stadtwerke Heidelberg
TECEO street lights
energy savings

The entire district is lit by nearly 1,000 TECEO LED luminaires to ensure safety, visibility and comfort. The lighting has been adapted to the different uses of the public spaces, for example, warm white LEDs illuminate the pedestrian areas while neutral white LEDs light the streets. The goal was to avoid shadows and guarantee a feeling of well-being for local residents and visitors to the area.

All of the luminaires are controlled by the Schréder EXEDRA system. They are dimmed to different levels during the night to reduce energy consumption to a minimum while ensuring a secure environment. Without having to send out an engineer in a van, Rainer Herb, responsible for lighting at Stadtwerke Heidelberg can see which lighting installations are functioning, when they turn on and off, their intensity and energy use along with a wealth of other useful information.

Schréder came to us, we talked to them, we really learned from one another, and they helped transform our idea into reality. We’d seen some intelligent lighting solutions, and wanted to have the most innovative technologies, with lighting adapted on demand to different areas. 

Rainer Herb - Responsible for lighting at Stadtwerke Heidelberg
Rainer Herb
Responsible for lighting at Stadtwerke Heidelberg

That included the ecological zone, home to lizards and butterflies, which need protection from artificial light so as not to disrupt their circadian rhythms.

The highlight is the 3.5 km cycle path, which has infra-red sensors linked to 130 adjustable PIANO LED luminaires. This means they can remain dimmed when cyclists aren’t using the path, ensuring a dark environment for wildlife - and energy savings for the city. Then, as a bike approaches, the lighting increases in intensity.

That's a really cool feeling, it feels like you're a celebrity.

Matthias Schütte Key Account Manager - Schréder Germany
Matthias Schütte
Key Account Manager - Schréder German

This lighting was such a success that the inhabitants of the adjoining neighbourhood, asked for the same on the Pfaffengrund bike path linking the area to Bahnstadt. One hundred AXIA 2 luminaires controlled by the Owlet IoT system were installed. The city will install sensors in the near future to capture data to improve services for citizens.

While there are no comparison figures for Bahnstadt as it’s a new development, the city estimates that it has generated energy and CO2 savings of approximately 75%.

The step from conventional lighting to LED saved us 60% and then to dim the LEDs saved another 30% of that. So on the whole, we think we have 70 – 80%” energy savings. The city aims to become climate neutral by 2050

Rainer Herb - Responsible for lighting at Stadtwerke Heidelberg
Rainer Herb
Responsible for lighting at Stadtwerke Heidelberg