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Wallonia to switch off 20,000 motorway lights to save energy

10:58 19/09/2022

A large number of the lights running along Wallonia's motorway network will be switched off from Monday night, in an energy-saving measure.

Some 20,000 lights on the central reservation of each motorway will be turned off between 22.00 and 5.00 daily, saving an estimated €400,000 per year.

The lights affected are those that have recently been replaced with smart LEDs, which are controlled and adjusted from a central location.

Another 5,000 lights will be turned off shortly. Roadside lights, along the emergency lane in each direction, will remain active, as will the lights around motorway junctions.

Walloon energy and infrastructure Philippe Henry described the move as an "emergency measure" as pressure grows on public bodies, businesses and individuals to rein in their energy use this coming winter.

"People expect public authorities to take the lead and make efforts to reduce their energy consumption," said Henry. "And that's exactly why we are taking this measure."

The lights are centrally remote controlled and can be switched back on instantly in specific locations "when necessary", said motorway operator Sofico Infrastructures, such as in the event of a road accident, bad weather and poor visibility.

Particularly dangerous spots on the motorway network, where accidents are the most frequent, will remain fully lit, Sofico added.

In 2017, the brightness of Belgium's motorway lights made global news headlines when a French astronaut published a photograph from the International Space Station, showing how much brighter Belgium was than the rest of Europe.

Written by The Bulletin