LED Tunnel Lighting Comes to Norway Tunnel

LED lighting has reached another milestonethis time in Norway. The newly opened Toven Tunnel in northern Norway has become the longest tunnel to be completely lit by LED lighting. The tunnel, which links the towns of Leirfjord and Vefsn, opened in November of 2014. It is 10.7 kilometers (6.6 miles) in length, surpassing other tunnels lit by LEDs in China, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Tunnel Features Unique LED-Control System

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) made the decision to use LED lights to improve energy efficiency and adaptability. While energy savings are inherent in LED lights, the NPRA also implemented a unique lighting-control system that adjusts light intensity based on the amount of traffic in the tunnel. Since the Toven Tunnel receives a relatively low amount of traffic, this control system is a tremendous energy-saving attribute. Additionally, daylight sensors will regulate the amount of LED lighting at the beginnings and ends of the tunnel (i.e., the lights will dim according to the brightness of the sun), providing a more seamless visual transition for drivers. It is estimated that these measures will save the Toven Tunnel 70% in energy costs.

Dark Tunnel Exit Needs LED Lighting

Savings in LED Maintenance—Improvements in Tunnel Safety

The NPRA will also save on maintenance costs, as the tunnel’s LED lighting will last about 84% longer than traditional lighting. Since fixing lights in a 10.7-kilometer tunnel is a bit more difficult (and expensive) than changing a light bulb at home, LEDs provide the Toven Tunnel a significant advantage.

LED lighting can also have benefits in more heavily trafficked tunnels where the level of lighting needs to be more consistent. Benefits of LED lighting include reduced glare and a better rendering of colors than traditional lighting, allowing drivers to better see the objects around them. This will likely increase comfort for drivers and reduce the number of accidents.

The issue of LED lighting in tunnels has become so popular that it will be the theme in the first ever Road Tunnel Lighting Conference. The conference will take place in Barcelona on October 8th and 9th.

“Now that there are self-adjusting tunnel lights and plans for smart, interactive highways, do you think the future of transportation is getting safer or more complicated? Are these innovations necessary?” –Dr. Bulb