philips freestreet lighting design
philips freestreet lighting design philips freestreet lighting design
apr 27, 2012

philips freestreet lighting design

the ‘freestreet’ highwire LED lighting system for urban space

designboom has just heard from philips design with updates about their ‘freestreet’ lighting system, first exhibited at dutch design week 2011. the street lighting design eliminates the need for poles, relying instead on the stringing of narrow cables equipped with LEDs to illuminate public space.

the design is a response to the observation by architects and urban planners of the problems of light pollution and cluttered streets. ‘freestreet’ adds no additional ground infrastructure, thus dissolving more seamlessly into the urban environment by day. all of the electrical and mechanical framework behind the system are integrated into the cables themselves. by night, the system provides less but more focused light than traditional streetside lamps, and the design ensures that the LEDs are always facing downwards, highly reducing light pollution.

the design ‘celebrate[s] the ‘lineness’ of light,‘ explains oscar pĕna, creative director of philips design. ‘freestreet’ has recently been installed and is currently viewable at catharinaplein in eindhoven.

‘freestreet’ has been installed beginning late march 2012 at catharinaplein in eindhoven

detail of a single LED module hanging

daytime view – the system is strung above public plazas and streets to eliminate urban clutter

video discussion with oscar pĕna and ramon janssen of the philips lighting design team, headed by rogier van der heide

view from below of ‘freestreet’

the system was first exhibited during dutch design week 2011 in a double-lined configuration

  • Interesting idea an explanations…but what happened if someone cuts the cable?? all the lighting system colapse?…jejeje…

    LuisEfe80 says:
  • I agree with Luis. This system also actually adds more visual clutter. It creates a false ceiling that impairs any direct view of the sky. With title 24 becoming more stringent to get the skies darker for viewing, this system puts more in the way of feeling that there is openness in a city.

    faf says:
  • I disagree with the above commenter. Especially since these will be mostly, one imagines, in public places where the goal is not stargazing, plus I believe what they say about the LEDs generating more focused light so less light pollution. It seems to me a much more elegant solution.

    Marcia says:
  • i really love them but what are they connected to? like at the ends?

    jove says:
  • Ah, I’m in Eindhoven this weekend, so I\’ll check them out. To me, it seems quite similar to the cable grids of tram and trolley-bus ; the sort of thing that seems highly visible in photographs but goes unnoticed in reality.

    However, I’m a bit scared about the homogenious (office-tubelight-like) lighting, especially with the use of LEDs which don’t have the most warm spectre to begin with. It might miss the contrast of lighting ‘spots’ in the end, and be well-lit but uninteresting.

    Well, let’s judge reality.

    Marco says:
  • I like this a lot.
    We can see a typical application of these lights here, I expect to see these lights used in some interesting ways in some interesting places before too long.

    Yabba says:
  • Phillips and street-lighting, like peas in a pod.

    efs says:
  • Great thinking from Philips. when the say de-cluttering they mean getting rid of the horrible posts, which are usually covered in unwanted ads and hand written notes

    Eugen says:
  • The fixture is good but not sure if the grid of cables help to declutered the urban environment.

    Ricardo says:
  • This is one of those projects that has to be seen and experienced in person to truly observe its effects. But based on the photographs I don’t see how getting rid of lamp posts by stringing wires with lights over our head solves any real issues.

    Most of these wired lights are installed in urban spaces and local streets where conventional lamp posts offer a more nostalgic feeling of walking through a park.

    Also the wires must be taunt therefore stressed, otherwise the lights will bobble or vibrate in winds. Then you have birds sitting on the wires and making a mess below.

    So in conclusion these wired lights may work beautifully in places that require lights and open space such as an outdoor lake for ice-skating where traditional poles can’t go, but in an urban environment these wired lights just seems like an easy way of not placing the wires underground for lamp posts.

    rjayn says:

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