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Sabadell, Smart City

LED technology to deliver better lighting while reducing energy and maintenance costs

The city of Sabadell, outside Barcelona, has always pursued economic growth and social progress with innovation. With its “Sabadell, Smart City” strategy, the local authorities aim to transform urban management by taking advantage of innovative technological developments. The city chose Schréder to improve the city’s sustainability by converting over 7,500 luminaires (29% public lighting) to LED technology to deliver better lighting while reducing energy and maintenance costs. The Teceo lights the main avenues and streets while the Kio LED lights the parks, squares and pedestrian areas, providing safe and welcoming environments with high visual comfort.
The Neos LED provides a bright white LED to guide drivers safely through the city’s tunnels.
All of the luminaires are equipped with a control system to optimise energy consumption throughout the night. 

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  • Interview with Cristian Sánchez
  • Interview with Joan Carles Sánchez

Cristian Sánchez discusses the Smart City Lighting project for Sabedell


Cristian Sánchez
Councillor for Public Spaces and Delegate of the "Sabadell, Smart City” programme


"Despite unfavourable economic conditions, we can continue to take important actions that transform and modernise public spaces."

In these times of economic difficulty for city councils, what motivated the council to implement a new lighting system?
For a long time now, Sabadell has been committed to environmental and economical sustainability whilst improving the quality of life for its residents. This strategy has now been incorporated into all of the public services with the "Sabadell, intelligent city” programme, led by the Mayor of Sabadell.
As for public lighting, the city has always sought out innovative tools for energy efficiency. Some time ago, we innovated by implementing high-pressure sodium lamps and with over 8,000 LED luminaires already installed we continue to be pioneers in new technologies and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is not only about saving money, it also improves the quality of public spaces and reduces carbon emissions in the city.


Was the new lighting installation motivated by the issue of energy efficiency?
Energy efficiency is one of the key priorities in the city of Sabadell’s strategy and was certainly one of the major factors in the decision to use LED lighting. But it was not the only one. We also wanted to improve the quality of light in public spaces, with a brighter and more pleasant light, and to concentrate the light where it is really necessary. It is a question of being able to provide more and a better light while reducing costs.


Why did you chose LED luminaires?
LED lighting represents very substantial savings, over 50% compared to previous technologies and it has enabled us to cut 30% on our overall bill for outdoor lighting. It provides the correct lighting levels with better visibility at night and optimal colour rendition to show the real colours of the city. It also has a strong environmental impact with more than 800 tonnes of reduced CO2 emissions, which is the equivalent to taking 545 cars or 108 trucks off the road per year.
For example on Gran Vía, the main boulevard of the city where 386 luminaires have been replaced, the first tests have shown energy savings of 69.5% which is the equivalent of 263.915 kWh and 39,587 Euros per year.


What are the most innovative elements of the new management of Sabadell's lighting system? 
As the City Council stipulated in the contract, we have to achieve set savings with the new LED lighting scheme so the company is taking the risk with this investment. If we do achieve the required savings, it is the contractor who will have to pay the electricity bill. This is a major breakthrough for cities in our country of the same size or bigger, as the ESE (energy service company) not only takes responsibility for the maintenance but also assumes the risk of managing their own energy consumption. From a business perspective, the ESE was awarded the contract for managing the lighting scheme but the city of Sabadell chose the luminaires from Schréder to ensure that the quality and efficiency requirements were met.


What has been the most positive effect of the new lighting system to date?
Despite unfavourable economic conditions, we can continue to take important actions that transform and modernise public spaces. You only need to find the appropriate technologies and procedures, relying on a combination of efficiency, improving the quality of public spaces and concern for the environment. Efficiency is an element that the crisis has forced us to incorporate, and the new lighting system perfectly satisfies this criteria.

Joan Carles Sánchez, Mayor of Sabadell talks about the new LED lighting scheme















Joan Carles Sánchez
Mayor of Sabadell 


"Sabadell was a finalist for the awards 'Smart City World Awards' along with Buenos Aires, Berlin and Copenhagen."

What is your opinion on the importance of a well-lit city?
It is essential, as the nocturnal life in the city for residents and tourists depends entirely on the quality of lighting. For work and leisure, we use public spaces for a considerable part of the night so it is important to take care of the outdoor lighting in a city. It should not be excessive but allow everyone to take full advantage of public spaces. It should not pollute but provide safety for people and vehicles. Sabadell is not a particularly tourist destination but we strongly believe that the nocturnal lighting has an impact on our ability to attract residents and visitors from other parts of the Vallés region and greater Barelona.


What were the main objectives of the new lighting in Sabadell?
The new LED lighting is part of the “Sabadell, Smart City” programme which promotes innovation in the city. Innovation to build a more efficient, environmentally friendly city with a better quality of life for its citizens. If we can build this innovative eco-system, through these LED luminaires and with many other technologies and innovative procedures, we will become a reference for the sector and, ultimately, attract entrepreneurs and companies to our city to generate jobs.


What were the key criteria that this lighting project had to meet?
The technical criteria was set to reduce energy consumption and thus cut energy costs by converting 30% of the overall light scheme. We wanted to install over 7,500 LED luminaires with control systems to enable us to manage the light during the night which would generate savings of 600,000 Euros per year over a 10 year contract.
The ESE increased these savings to 1 million Euros per year!


As one of the cities with the most LED luminaires, Sabadell has positioned itself as an innovative city. What other projects do you want to initiate in lighting? 
We have a smart city programme covering all public services: environment, mobility, quality of life, mainstreaming e-government ... This is what gives us strength, because it allows us to design an ideal city for all, as demonstrated in the last Congress "Smart City World congress" in Barcelona, where Sabadell was a finalist for the awards "Smart City World Awards" along with Buenos Aires, Berlin and Copenhagen.
However, energy efficiency is one of our greatest strengths as we have a long tradition of innovation in outdoor lighting. With the actions that we have taken in recent years, over 70% of the savings have come from improvements in energy efficiency. In the short and medium term, we have defined energy efficiency projects in council facilities that aim to save energy in indoor lighting. We strongly believe in energy efficiency not only as a source of cost savings but also for the generation of new jobs linked to the rehabilitation of residential, tertiary and public buildings. Lighting is definitely part of this strategy.


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