Prague City Hall to dim streetlights in some areas as part of cost-cutting measures

The Astronomical Clock of Prague, the equestrian statue of Saint Wenceslas, the Basilica of Saints. Peter and Paul or the TV Tower in Prague’s Žižkov district are just a few of the many landmarks that stand out in the city after dark.

However, rising electricity bills and the need to tackle light pollution have led Prague City Hall to reconsider the city’s lighting policy in the coming months.

According to city hall plans, streetlights in some less busy areas will be turned off and special lights highlighting 140 of the city’s historic landmarks will be turned off before midnight rather than after. Councilor Jan Chabr explains:

Photo: Kristina Makova, Radio Prague International

“The special lighting of the monuments will turn off at 11 p.m. in summer, and no longer at 1 a.m. as is currently the case, and at 10 p.m. in winter. During the winter months, we can even consider turning off the lights at 9 p.m.

The new lighting policy will not affect the grounds of Prague Castle, which takes care of its own lighting.

Prague City Hall says it expects to pay twice as much in electricity bills next year – nearly 200 million crowns. The amount saved on lighting monuments late at night will save only a fraction of the cost – around 2 million crowns per year.

Other measures are therefore on the table, such as the attenuation of streetlights in less frequented areas of the city. This will be done by combining LED light sources and intelligent lighting control systems in certain areas. Tomáš Jílek, Director of Technology, the company in charge of lighting in Prague, explains:

“This new lighting system will soon appear on some roads in Prague such as V Holešovičkách, 5 května and Liberecká streets. We aim to reduce costs on the order of hundreds of thousands of crowns at each location. »

This so-called biodynamic lighting is already in use at Ladronka and five other parks in Prague where it has cut costs by a third. LED lights and solar panels on rooftops are expected to further reduce lighting costs in the months and years to come.

Berta D. Wells