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Barcelona metropolis at night

Mataró counters light pollution with smart solar lampposts

Mataró counters light pollution with smart solar lampposts

The city takes steps to ensure protection against excessive lights on Sant Simó beach

Mataró, is a satellite city, located in the north-eastern part of the Barcelona metropolitan area. As such, it falls in a zone that suffers from excessive light pollution – something common to large urban areas of the industrialized world.

Municipal authorities informed on 4 August that they had installed 9 smart solar-powered skylights on the local Sant Simó beach to ensure better management of the phenomenon of light pollution there.

Are you aware of light pollution?

On 29 June 2018, the Department of Territory and Sustainability of the Government of Catalonia approved a Protection Map against light pollution.

The Map is the environmental management instrument that defines the four areas into which the territory is divided according to the vulnerability of the night environment to light pollution. Attending, on the one hand, the need to maintain correct lighting in those areas where human activity takes place, and, on the other, to protect -as much as possible- natural spaces and the visibility of the sky at night.

The zone of protection against light pollution determines the operating hours and the type and characteristics of the lighting system that can be installed.

Back to Mataró’s beach lights

For a budget of 9,500 euros (VAT included) the Municipality of Mataró installed nine lamp posts that have a plate of photovoltaic solar cells of maximum performance, with lithium batteries and electronics associated with brightness regulation. 

They operate at maximum power until midnight (11 W for each lamp post), at which time they are dimmed to 50% of brightness until sunrise. In addition, each of the luminaires has a sensor that detects physical presence and increases the light power back to the maximum for a few minutes.

Sant Simó beach is, together with the Forest Park, one of the areas of Mataró declared for maximum protection against light pollution according to the Map against light pollution. This is why a low-power light solution, a non-intrusive light footprint outside the traffic areas and a light colour that does not affect natural biorhythms have been designed.

Are you curious how your area of residence fares in terms of light pollution? You can consult this map to find out.

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