Thalheim CityTouch & Eagle Eye

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Thalheim combines CityTouch and Eagle Eye Zhaga - and saves over 50% of energy costs

The community of Thalheim with around 800 inhabitants has almost completely upgraded its lighting to networked LED lights in recent years. "Today we have almost no old lights - over 95% of the 174 or so street lights were refurbished to LED in four stages," says Stefan Wernli (member of the EVT Commission). In an interview, Stefan Wernli and Kari Dietiker from the Electricity Supply Commission explain why Thalheim, in addition to LED lights, was very early on using intelligent light control with CityTouch and has even gone one step further today.


Why was the decision to use CityTouch lighting control already made in 2016?

Stefan : They wanted to be able to control the lights of the different street types individually and not have any “exotic streets”. The community wanted to be able to dim flexibly at any time. We then passed another community that was already using CityTouch. After a workshop at ELEKTRON, it finally convinced us.


How do you use the dimming calendar?

Stefan: After the training we started to create the first dimming calendar. This enabled us to create specific structures for main and secondary roads. For safety reasons, we have of course stored other dimming profiles at the pedestrian crossings ; there must always be enough light there. On the contrary, we even switched off the lighting entirely on a blind road that has not yet been developed with buildings. As soon as the road is in operation, the lights can then easily be started up.


Kari:  We used to have a key switch that we could turn to keep the light on all night. For example when an occasion was like a gymnastics evening or something. Today we can do that on the computer.

How does the renovation affect the energy savings?

Stefan: We are currently turning the lighting down on side streets to a low dimming level early at night because we have had very good experiences with it. People's feedback was very good . We just don't need more light . There are almost no cars driving through at night. Since the start of the renovation in 2016, we have saved over 50% energy - not only with dimming, but also because you have better light output with LEDs.


Kari: And we don't have to do any maintenance work, because bulb replacements are no longer necessary. The lights almost outlive us.

 In addition to CityTouch, you also use Eagle Eye Zhaga - a movement-dependent light control system...

Stefan: Yes, exactly, when the lighting of a long staircase in a neighborhood came up, we took the next step. It was very clear to us that we didn't want the stairs to be permanently lit. The other alternative would have been CityTouch, but with that we would have had constant light and not only when there are really people on the stairs. It would be kind of nonsense to illuminate such a sidewalk all the time . At first we wanted to use a normal motion detector per light, but that didn't work so well because the lights switched on too late. This is why we decided to use radar sensors so that the light comes on in advance when people come. And automatically for all lights as soon as someone walks in above or below. If we can also control these sensors in CityTouch, it's even better. We plan to illuminate another staircase as well. It worked very well for us.


Stefan Wernli: Member of the Thalheim Electricity Supply Commission (advice and management)
Kari Dietiker: Member of the Thalheim Electricity Supply Commission (construction and assembly)

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