Street lighting management

The lighting system of a city are definitely part of the urban landscape, both during the day and night. Street lighting conveys a sense of security, comfort and quality and provides a public space.

City lighting can extend citizens’ activity overnight. The city image at night shows identity, "brings out" what essentially defines it: its architecture, history, neighborhoods and projects by offering the most complete and current reality.

Current criteria on street lighting are committed to pay more attention on pedestrians, as well as on integrating sustainable transport, reconsidering green areas and highlighting classic or iconographic architectural values​​. Previously, street lighting focused on the horizontal plane, mainly on roads for vehicles, and occasionally on some buildings as very important icons.

Barcelona has more than 146,000 lights, an different set due to isolated urban renewal and maintenance that have led to a disparity of criteria, models and results.

Municipal services are responsible for creating a nocturnal image of the city. This image seeks a balance between functional order and aesthetic order by incorporating new technology, such as LED, but also management and regulation elements, as well as remote control and new technological solutions that enable progress towards a smart city, both on the streets, avenues and squares, as in the building lighting or in unique elements.

The aim is to try to go one step further and adapt lighting to the reality of today's city planning by optimizing energy consumption and improving the quality of public spaces, and always considering the regulatory framework on energy efficiency. It is also aimed at showing the identity of the city in its night image too through what is essentially defines it, such as its architecture, history, neighborhoods, projects, etc. Therefore, decorative street lighting will be encouraged in this context. Moreover, the plan aims to improve the light perception of the city, which is now distorted partly because of the yellowish vapor lamps, high pressure sodium (HPS), the uniformity of light levels throughout the city and the difficult relationship between trees and light, which often cause loss of uniformity.

Technology and lighting

Es tracta d'incorporar tecnologia LED, amb una temperatura de color adequada, incorporant elements de regulació lumínica i control funcional.

LED stands for Luminiscence Emitting Diode. Behind this acronym there is a rapidly developing technology which has one of the main challenges in the field of outdoor lighting. LED is a diode or a very simple semiconductor wich, under certain electric conditions, emits light given the movement of electrons inside it. It is an electronic device, not a discharge device as current lamps. For its small size and versatility, LED is considered to have a very high potential since its small size also provides a long life due the fact that it has no filaments or gas, so attrition levels are also low.

Current regulation

Local measures regarding lighting are adapted to brightness levels set by the authorities and agencies. International recommendations at and those according to the Spanish Lighting Committee (CEI or Comité Español de Iluminación) provide the necessary light levels for a city in terms of security and visibility ranging from 5 to 30 lux.


Further information:

Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE or Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía) (in Spanish, Catalan and English)

Spanish Lighting Comitee  (in Spanish)