Street lighting in Historic Bruges
Bruges is one of the most beautifully preserved medieval cities in Europe. The historic centre has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. In 1979 the city council decided to completely renovate and update the public lighting. TL and other luminaires were taken out of the streets and replaced by the original 19th century “Belle Epoque” cast-iron street lamps. These street laterns have become almost a trademark of the historic centre and the design has even been registered.
One version is a post-top (pictures 1) installed in parks, market places and alleys, but the majority are fixed to the fronts of houses with an elegant and easily recognisable scroll bracket (picture 2). Some of the laterns are still the original, stylish “Belle Epoque” gas lamp designed in 1864; most are exact replicas.
A program to convert Bruges’ 2.600 street laterns from high pressure mercury to QL lamps began in 1999. Cool white versions are being used, producing a close match to the cold light generated by a gas mantle. Its colour rendering exceeds that of the old high pressure mercury lamps, providing a richer ambience. 85W QL lamps were used to replace 125W mercury lamps, which resulted in 45% energy savings. Relamping cycles are reduced from every 3 or 4 years to every 15 due to the long lifetime of the QL system.