The need for tunnels is rapidly increasing in major cities around the world. Every day, we might be driving through a tunnel or underpass without actually realizing that we are entering an enclosed area which requires high levels of safety & attention.
One general question from the public is what makes tunnel lights so special? “The lights are only made for lighting up the tunnel, that’s it!”
Well, actually tunnel lights are about more than just lighting up the tunnel. Do you know that tunnel lights are the most critical during day time, when there is the most sunlight? Imagine you are entering a tunnel with no proper lighting control and what you see in front of you is a pitch black hole. This could be very dangerous as you are unable to see if there are any vehicles or objects in front of you.
Apart from that, stage lighting is needed in the tunnel as well. Stage lighting means that the brightness of the lights in the tunnel is being controlled individually or in a group. This process is very important as our human eyes need time to adapt to the change of brightness in the tunnel. Imagine there is no stage lighting and you are entering the tunnel during day time. It is the same effect if you turn on your room lights in a pitch black room conditions. You will be blinded and will not be able to see anything for a few seconds.
How are the lights being controlled? When do the lights know that it is daytime, night time, cloudy, snowy, etc.? The answer is simple – there is a luminance meter outside the tunnel which will measure the luminance and hence determine the condition of the surroundings outside the tunnel. The luminance meter will feedback all the information to a central lighting control unit and it will determine the switching on/off of lights in the tunnel. Conventionally, the lights are being controlled in groups (on/off only) and the brightness of each group of lights is fixed at one level only.
In today’s age of technology, there is a lighting control solution which is able to control the brightness of individual lightings, a “failsafe” mode which engages if there is a breakdown of communications in the tunnel, complete networking, control, monitoring of tunnel lights and many more. Phoenix Contact is able to offer the solutions for BTS (Basic Tunnel System), ATS (Advance Tunnel System) and TCS (Tunnel Control System).
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