La Voz – 15/12/2019
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in the environment of an organism. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a circadian rhythm related to light. This is the first definition of circadian rhythm that will pop up if you type the phrase into an Internet search engine. This is the philosophy behind the launch of a generation of urban luminaries named Circadionic System by Setga, one of the Pontevedra companies with the greatest international influence.
These luminaires automatically regulate the luminous flux and the change in colour temperatures, from the warm light of an orange appearance to a neutral light, with a purer white. These values vary gradually, beginning to light up at sunset and eventually switching off at dawn, with patterns that provide the necessary light for each moment. This urban lighting gradually adapts to the vital flow of citizens, to their circadian rhythms.
The system is in the experimental phase and is being tested, as a pilot model, in Pontevedra. In collaboration with the City Council and as part of the PO2 Project, the municipal programme to value the environmental benefits of sustainable urban design, the company has already installed the system in the pedestrianised section of Calle de Benito Corbal, between Calle de Sagasta and Calle Daniel de la Sota.
Setga explains how the system makes changes to the street lighting as the evening and night progress. During the afternoon, especially in the months of autumn and winter, when the sun disappears on the horizon at around 19:00, the Circadionic system begins the illumination with a high level flow and using a neutral temperature, they explain. This ensures that pedestrians and drivers remain active and in a state of alert. The change is gradual, so that at 21:00 or 22:00, when commercial activity comes to an end, the system adapts the light to reduce intensity and provide a warmer light that does not prevent melatonin secretion, which is responsible for our correct rest.
When night has fallen, little activity remains on the street and there are few people who walk through the city, the lighting has been reduced to minimum levels of safety and the white colour temperature is warm.
These gradual changes in the intensity of urban lighting in Calle de Benito Corbal are produced through a single lens equipped with compacted LED lights which, Setga claims, indicate, a uniform light with high visual comfort in all stages of its functioning.
Another advantage to the system, which is related to the environment; By reducing the light reflected towards the sky and managing colour temperatures with a lower blue component, we reduce light pollution, allowing observation of the starry night sky and reducing the impact on flora and fauna. In addition, through intensity reductions, we are reducing electricity consumption and its impact on the carbon footprint.
Pontevedra, test bench
It’s not the first time that Pontevedra has become a test bench for Setga. The pedestrian traffic lights at the junction between Avenida de Reina Victoria and Calle de Rosalia de Castro, or the traffic lights of Calle de San Roque and the second section of Calle de Benito Corbal, are a few examples of the company’s innovation that were tested in the city before their export to other places in the world. It works the other way around as well; the street lamps of the renewed Calle de Gorgullón are a model that were tested and installed by Setga in several Dutch towns.