Signify’s hybrid solar lighting take Trafford a step closer to its carbon neutral goals


    February 2, 2024


    Trafford became one of the first local authorities in the country to install solar hybrid streetlights after five columns were installed on Woodbridge Road in Urmston.


    The rise of solar energy is leading to a shift in the way we power lighting across the world. As the world leader in lighting, we're committed to innovations of all kinds — especially when they reduce the impact on the environment as energy efficiency battles climate change by reducing energy usage. Clean energy battles climate change by decarbonizing the energy that is used. It's why we're leading the way in advancing solar-powered lights, helping you meet your sustainability goals and bring light to communities by harnessing the power of the sunlight and at the same time encouraging the use of renewable energy. One such innovation from Signify are the solar and hybrid-solar streetlights that reduce carbon emissions while leveraging the most cost-efficient energy source around: the sun. To add to that infrastructure projects such as connected street lighting create on local jobs benefit for the local economy, help reduce carbon and save energy. The benefits are not limited to just positive impact on the environment.

    Why opt for solar lighting?


    When people think of Solar lighting, they automatically think of Off Grid Solar streetlights powered completely by energy from the sun. In this kind of solution, the solar panels charge the batteries during the day and the stored energy from the battery powers the LEDs at night. No doubt, off Grid solar has been benefiting millions of people globally who live without power or where power infrastructure costs are prohibitive.


    If we explore solar solutions in the UKI (UK & Ireland) region, there are challenges to meet as we have some of the lowest average annual solar irradiance levels in Europe. This is a particular problem in the winter when the days are short, and the nights are longer. When you start to factor in adverse weather conditions like rain and snow it becomes even more difficult to guarantee performance of the off grid solar lighting solutions. As lighting of public spaces is highly regulated, installing lighting that cannot be relied upon to provide light at all required times represents a tangible risk.


    To overcome this challenge and help customers meet their sustainability commitments Signify has launched the new Solar Hybrid proposition to the market, meaning the luminaire will be powered by the sun when conditions allow and draw energy from the grid when it does not. This not only helps reach Net Zero target whilst using best in class luminaires, but this solution also propagates the use of renewable energy in the country, making them a more sustainable choice.

    What is hybrid solar lighting?


    Signify has been experimenting with hybrid solar systems. The innovative solution enables streetlights to be powered by clean solar energy when weather conditions allow while accessing the mains grid when they do not. This makes hybrid a feasible option for high-latitude countries where sunshine may be less reliable, and daylight is more dependent on the seasons. This also helps move developed countries like the UK reduce the reliance on energy from the grid and scale up the use of renewables while reducing their carbon footprint.


    Ultimately, a paradigm shift is occurring where solar power is no longer being attributed only to places where existing infrastructure lacks and instead is being seen as an important part of the global energy mix. The alternative is becoming the new norm.

    The lighting are shining – in Trafford!


    Recently, Trafford became one of the first local authorities in the country to install solar hybrid streetlights after five columns were installed on Woodbridge Road in Urmston. Over 12 months, the new streetlights, will use 75% less energy than the standard LED streetlights which are the used mostly across the borough.

    Solar hybrid streetlight installed in Trafford

    Vertical Solar panels are located around the shaft of the columns to absorb sunlight which is converted to electric power stored in a battery. If the battery is not sufficiently charged the hybrid system with revert to the mains supply serving as a back-up when not enough natural light is available. The installation comes as Trafford Council are looking towards more sustainable solutions to the borough’s infrastructure.


    The council made ‘addressing the climate change’ one of their three main priorities in their corporate plan for 2021-2024, and this installation of solar hybrid streetlights is just one of many forward-thinking initiatives the council have led on since to rise to this challenge. Peter Mullen, the Streetlighting Supervisor at the One Trafford Partnership, said: “We conducted a nine-month trial in our depot with one of the solar hybrid street lights and it was really successful; it never skipped a beat. It is estimated that they will be able to run from natural sunlight entirely for nine months of each year so that is a huge impact. The installation went to plan, and it’s been absolutely fantastic to see the lights shining over Woodbridge Road.


    “We’re always looking for the latest method to improve the energy efficiency of our streetlights and, with that in mind, work has already started to trial an off grid-solar streetlight that has a PRI sensor built into it. Like we have with the solar hybrid streetlights, we will again trial one of these lights outside the depot with the view to putting some in the borough itself if successful. These only come on fully when someone is within 15 feet of it meaning a huge amount of energy is saved which, in turn, improves our carbon footprint.”


    Councillor Stephen Adshead, Executive Member for Highways, Environmental & Traded Services, added his thoughts on the newly-installed solar hybrid streetlights, commenting: “It is incredible that our borough is one of the first in the country to have these solar hybrid streetlights in place and it reflects our commitment to our goal to make Trafford carbon neutral by 2038. What’s great is that we’re not stopping here - we’re already planning on trialling another type of streetlight which really shows how relentless we’re being in doing everything to make sure our streetlighting stock is as energy efficient as it can be.”

    Solar lighting is a key part of our commitment to sustainability as we innovate to help customers move to cleaner technologies. Due to its ability to switch between solar energy and the grid, hybrid solar-powered lights are a feasible option for regions where solar irradiance is low and therefore may be less reliable, while making solar power an important part of the UK’s energy mix – a step closer to the UK’s net zero agenda.”


    Dervan Alleyne

    Director of Public and Sports Lighting Solutions at Signify UK&I

    About the author:

    Marcus Vongpraseuth

    Marcus Vongpraseuth

    Channel Marketing Manager, Signify UKI

    For further information, please contact:

    Signify UKI PR
    Nikita Mahajan­

    Tel: +44 (0)7459751618


    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals and consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact connected lighting systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2022, we had sales of EUR 7.5 billion, approximately 35,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We achieved carbon neutrality in our operations in 2020, have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for six consecutive years and were named Industry Leader in 2017, 2018 and 2019. News from Signify is located at the Newsroom, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors can be found on the Investor Relations page.

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