Smart Light Concepts | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Smart Light Concepts

Priority Axis

Low Carbon Technologies

Specific objective

Low Carbon Technologies

Lead partner

Stichting Avans






Project budget

3 522 855

ERDF amount

2 113 713

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Europe, the 2 Seas area, and local/regional authorities were far behind in meeting carbon reduction targets for 2020. Public lighting (PL) is responsible for about 35% of carbon emissions caused by local/regional authorities. The potential gains are thus high and easy to achieve because of existing and new technologies. Switching to LEDs and other street lighting technology across Europe has the potential to save 11 million tonnes carbon per year and 3 billion Euros in annual energy costs. Although managing authorities were generally aware of the need to adopt sustainable PL, the actual scale of implementation had been insufficient.

    At the time of project approval, only minor results had been carried, mostly because of uncertainty about various financial aspects (affordability, access to funding and proven business cases), but also because of lack of knowledge, lack of experience with innovative systems and about acceptance of safety issues (social and traffic). The challenge taken up by SLIC project was to face these obstacles and barriers and to convince stakeholders to accelerate the roll-out of smart PL-systems by demonstrations, tools/models about carbon-reduction effects, technical, financial, and social feasibility (including safety) based on innovative PL-applications.

    Main Achievements

    The objective of SLIC, a multi-year European study that Avans conducted with seven project partners from the 2 Seas area, was to explore how smart public lighting contributes to decreasing energy use and emissions of CO2 without compromising citizens' safety and taking biodiversity into account. At the closure of the project, the research into the four themes, financial feasibility, technology, safety, and stakeholders has shown that energy and carbon saving with public lighting does not diminish the wellbeing of citizens at all. In one pilot, the inclusion of biodiversity goals was even a success. The overall results are positive. 
    At the start of the project, the energy prices were very low. The question was whether a municipality or province could quickly recover its investments, especially as all kinds of creative solutions such as dimming, motion sensors and LED lighting were developed and included in the infrastructure during the project. The financial calculations have shown that the payback period is shorter than expected at the start of SLIC. Also, every pilot achieved a reduction in energy and CO2. As a result, more and better investments were made in sensors, radars, and other items because the partners saw that this saved even more money. The study also produced a Decision Support Tool developed by researchers at the UK's Portsmouth University. This tool can help municipalities decide when balancing technology, payback time, financing costs and social considerations for investing in public lighting. Therefore, it depends entirely on what a municipality's requirements are and what kind of advice come out from the tool. It is now up to the managing authorities to apply the project findings to make public lighting more sustainable and to achieve carbon reduction. An overview of the results is available on the SLIC website, which also functions as a knowledge hub. In the autumn of 2023, a SLIC Result book was published with all the results of the SLIC project and its pilots. The average CO2 reduction was 49.8% for all pilots combined. CO2 reductions ranged from 31.9% to 100%.


    “Investing in smart public lighting contributes to money and carbon savings.”



    Gemeente Etten-Leur

    University of Portsmouth Higher Education Corporation

    Suffolk County Council

    Amiens Métropole

    Stad Brugge

    West-Vlaamse Intercommunale (WVI)

    Provincie West-Vlaanderen

    Fluvius System Operator


    Output title
    URL / Download


    Thema: Low carbon technologiesEnergy

    A comprehensive feasibility study on 7 different low carbon PL-systems applicable for other PL-managing authorities.

    Type: Feasibility study
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities


    Thema: Low carbon technologiesEnergy

    Small scale investment on the introduction of zero lighting combined with limited LED-lighting in different rural areas of Etten-Leur

    Type: Infrastructure/building
    Target: Energy agencies