Germany’s Street Lights turn on by phone
Hey, isn’t this a great title? More importantly, it is a great idea. Whilst I was in Germany in Frankfurt, a friend was telling me of this new exciting ‘green’ bright idea. Apparently, in a little town in central Germany called Dorentrup, every night at 11pm, this village is thrown into total darkness. Yes, I mean pitch black darkness, except for the stars in the skies above. The reason is the council is strapped for cash so they had to develop new strategy to help themselves. The local council decided to switch off all the street lights. The council knows that whilst this will save them money, but they do have to look after the residents of Dorentrup, especially the women and children who may be out late. With consultations with the local residents and utility companies, they developed a solution that has the ability to turn on the village lights with a simple telephone call. Well, they did just that and called it Dial4light. The first project of this kind in Europe I believe.
Now the residents of Dorentrup can switch on the lights on specific streets whenever they like. All they have to do is register for the scheme online and provide a phone number. Each time they need to see in the dark, they call the Dial4Light number and either recite or enter a 6 digit code (which can be found online or on every lamp post in the street) these numbers correspond to the stretch of road they want lit. Within second, the road will be lilted up and the lights stay long enough for someone to walk from one end of the street to the other.
After the implementation it was found to be very efficient and cost effective and safe for the resident of Dorentrup as well. However it should be noted that it will work well only for villages where residents don’t need lights burning all night. Of course, there are some objections to this scheme or any new schemes, but it does sound logical. Imagine in your own house, one does not have all the lights turn on in every part of the house. If the garage or toilet is not being occupied or used, the lights in there will be switched off, right? So logically we should do the same for the streets lights? We are all doing our bit to save the environment in the house, so I believe it is high time we do the same for our street and environment. Watch this video on BBC News.
I wonder if there are other villages/towns using the same scheme as Dorentrup. What about other countries? Love to hear from readers if anyone has heard of this same scheme.