The dark season arrives in october, when the clocks are changed to winter time. This also means an earlier start-up of the street lighting. In bad staffelstein, however, it has been noticed in recent weeks that the lanterns have missed the appropriate time more often than not.
Time instead of light
"We are aligned with a program from bayernwerk", explains wolfgang horath, director of the city of bad staffelstein. There, the switching on and off of the lamps is fixed to a certain time, unlike the dammerung switches that were previously used. "There are basically two variants", explains burkhard butz of bayernwerk AG. "The damper switch is a light catcher. When a certain threshold is exceeded, it switches the lighting on or off." This has one major advantage: "it is not dependent on the weather." On particularly dark days, the lights were therefore left on longer in the morning and turned on earlier in the evening. The disadvantage: the dammerungsschalter can be influenced. Something could obscure him or headlights could irritate him – and the system would already be levered out and lanterns could possibly remain completely switched off.
That’s why bayernwerk AG offers a second variant, which is also used in bad staffelstein. A kind of timer controls the street lighting. "There are fixed times per day, which shift every day. The program virtually follows an annual curve", says burkhard butz. This system is much less susceptible to storms and ensures that all lanterns go on or off at the same time. But an adjustment to the weather is not possible. "Therefore one has the feeling on bright days, the lanterns go on much too early. And on dark days too late."
"Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found a "beast of burden", butz continues. A solution that offers all the advantages of the "clubs" would be the ultimate." That the programmed times in bad staffelstein have not always been optimal in recent weeks is well known, says wolfgang horath: "we have been told this by the population." At bayernwerk they know. The system is still quite new and leaves room for improvement: "we are still in the process of finding the optimum", says burkhard butz. "Especially in the phase around the time change we have to readjust and add a few minutes here and there."
Sodium vapor and LED
Then the yellowish shining sodium vapor lamps are to take up service in time. "We had a rough reclassification five or six years ago", says wolfgang horath with regard to this energy-saving variant of street lighting. In the meantime, more and more LED lanterns were set up when it was convenient to do so in the context of new tree inspections.