Why is Bergen leaving the street lights on during the day?

Street lightA street light in Bergen shining during the day. Photo: Malofi Claudiu
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Residents of Bergen are wondering why the city has its street lights on during the day.

Norway’s beautiful southwestern city of Bergen is a coveted residential and tourist destination alike.

But recently, Norway Today reader and Bergen local Malofi Claudiu informed us about an issue in the city: street lights that have been on day and night since December of 2020.

Street light
A street light in front of Ny-Krohnborg School during daytime. Photo: Malofi Claudiu

This might seem like a relatively minor problem at first, but Claudiu raises an important question: “There are several streets on Solheim Sør with the street lights running day and night since December 2020. So my question is why? Money is wasted on that matter instead of something useful to the City of Bergen.” Could the street lights indeed be using up parts of the city budget that could be better allocated to other matters?

We reached out to the Bergen Municipality for more information behind the scenes. Robert Olsen, an electrical engineer at the Agency for Urban Environment in The Municipality of Bergen, provided further insight in the answers below.

What time are the street lights in Bergen turned on, and when are they turned off?

“The street lights are controlled by a photocell, which means that they are controlled by the solar conditions here in Bergen.

“So when the sun has gone down, the street light should come on.”

Could you confirm whether street lights have been running day and night?

“Unfortunately, we have to confirm that we have experienced communication problems with the control system for road lights in Bergen.

“In late December, the supplier of the control system performed an update of the software. Which meant that a number of the control units lost communication.

“The reason why this has not been rectified yet is due to delivery problems of computer chips to the control unit. Bergen Municipality has weekly communication with the supplier to rectify this problem.

“When we lose communication with the control units, they automatically go into ignition mode, this is a traffic safety measure. This means that the light is on even during the day where we have communication problems. We do not want to risk creating dangerous traffic situations.

So, “communication problems are the reason, and it is a traffic safety measure.”

Is there any budget discussion ongoing on whether it would be more efficient to transfer the money being spent on the lights elsewhere to benefit the citizens of Bergen?

“Road lighting is a traffic safety measure, and in addition a general safety measure.

“Bergen Municipality follows the norm requirements of the Ministry of Transport, which sets the requirements for lighting along public roads.”

Street light
A street light in Bergen shining during the day. Photo: Malofi Claudiu

To conclude – it seems the street lights in Bergen, as a safety measure, will continue to run until the Agency’s communication problems with its supplier have been resolved.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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