Kick-off for LED conversion

- Innovative lighting concept will be realized in Villingen-Schwenningen (VS)

- Leading role for VS in Germany

From left to right: Hess Sales Manager Jürgen Duffer, First Mayor Detlev Bührer, Managing Director of the SVS Ulrich Köngeter, Lord Mayor Dr. Rupert Kubon and concept developer Kai-Uwe Huonker

From left to right: Hess Sales Manager Jürgen Duffer, First Mayor Detlev Bührer, Managing Director of the SVS Ulrich Köngeter and concept developer Kai-Uwe Huonker

From left to right: Managing Director of the SVS Ulrich Köngeter, Hess Sales Manager Jürgen Duffner and First Mayor Detlev Bührer

From left to right: First Mayor Detlev Bührer, Lord Mayor Dr. Rupert Kubon and Hess Sales Manager Jürgen Duffner with the new LED luminaire

Villingen-Schwenningen, 28. September 2017

History will be written in Villingen-Schwenningen: The city will be the first of its size in Germany whose street luminaires will be comprehensively converted to LED technology within two years. On Thursday 28 September, the first LED light was symbolically mounted, thus serving as the kick-off for further conversions. By the end of 2019, all 13,400 street luminaires in Villingen-Schwenningen and its associated districts will have been converted to the energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly lighting technology.

Mayor Dr. Rupert Kubon, the contracting authority for the project, is delighted about the kick-off. "This project has great significance for the city of Villingen-Schwenningen. I am happy that the city is taking a leading role in Germany through this comprehensive conversion of the street luminaires to LED technology." Villingen-Schwenningen already called national attention to itself seven years ago with LED lighting, as the first test area for LED street lighting was put into operation under real conditions in Spessartstraße in Schwenningen. The European Union conferred the city with the Greenlight-Award for its contribution to energy and CO2 savings. Thus, Dr. Rupert Kubon is especially pleased that once again, so many people in Germany are talking about Villingen-Schwenningen's progressive, environmentally-friendly and exemplary LED concept. "Together with the SVS (Stadtwerke Villingen-Schwenningen GmbH) [Villingen-Schwenningen Public Utilities Company], the city has continuously brought public lighting up to the state of the art," concludes the mayor.

The lighting experts of the SVS developed the LED concept for Villingen-Schwenningen under the direction of Kai-Uwe Huonker and project manager Wolfgang Scharlawski. Since 1972, the SVS has been in charge of the operational management of street lighting, among others within the twin city, and is very familiar with the existing luminaries and the technology. The managing director of the SVS Ulrich Köngeter explains: "One of our core competencies is street lighting. For the past eleven years, we have been testing LED systems on our premises in order to further optimize the energy consumption." The SVS has already implemented LED projects in Alzey, Wiesloch, Tuningen, Singen, Gailingen am Hochrhein and Wildberg. "Therefore, we are naturally very happy that we could plan this significant large-scale project in our home city and can now implement it," says Ulrich Köngeter.

After the municipal council had given the green light for the project and the grant notification had been received from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, the European-wide invitation to tender for the project began. Hess won this invitation to tender. The Villingen-based company will manufacture and provide all luminaire heads for the LED conversion. Sales manager, Jürgen Duffner, is extremely satisfied that Hess won the invitation for tender and was awarded the contract. It is the largest individual contract in Germany in the history of the company. "It is really wonderful that we can be part of this future-oriented project and that the city and the public utilities company rely on quality from Hess," says Duffner. 

The municipal council of the city of Villingen-Schwenningen stood united behind the project from the first presentation and agreed to the conversion in December 2016. The Federal Ministry for the Environment supports this project. Five years after the complete conversion, the entire conversion costs will have been amortized due to the high efficiency of the lighting and the associated energy savings. At present, the energy costs for the city of Villingen-Schwenningen amount to one million euros a year; in the future they will only amount to 300,000 euros.

The electricity consumption of the highly-modern street lighting is reduced by 70 percent, whereby the CO2 emissions are decreased by 70 percent. The managing director of the SVS Ulrich Köngeter explains:  "The street luminaires will no longer illuminate with the same intensity around the clock. They will be dimmed automatically and depending on the traffic situation." On main roads and pedestrian crossings, the luminaires will illuminate with greater intensity and increase the safety and sense of security for citizens. Whereas in residential streets, including pavements, the luminosity will be decreased through which large savings will be achieved. At connecting routes, like "Steinkreuzweg" for example, another intelligent control technology will be used. Highly-sensitive sensors will activate and control the lighting depending on pedestrian traffic. To achieve an optimal efficiency, the light colour of the white LED light is set at 4000 Kelvin and increased to 5000 Kelvin at pedestrian crossings.

Some street luminaires in Villingen-Schwenningen have already been converted to LED technology. This was done in the course of the network extension. Some luminaires, explains Ulrich Köngeter, managing director of the SVS, will not be optically changed because these luminaires will be equipped with so-called retrofit lamps. Here, only the lamp will be replaced with LEDs, the appearance of the luminaires will remain the same. This method will be used for luminaires worthy of preservation such as design luminaires, special-function luminaires and luminaires that give character to the cityscape. Not all of the luminaires will have their poles replaced during the LED conversion either. Concept developer Kai-Uwe Huonker, from the SVS explains: "In the course of regular, rotational renovation, the poles will have their colours matched in the coming years. Thus, some luminaires will have a new luminaire head while their poles however, will continue to have another colour during the transitional period.

At the beginning of the LED conversion – by the SVS and a subcontractor – first the light sources on the main roads will be replaced, whereby the location of the luminaires will remain the same. Little by little, the luminaires in Villingen, Schwenningen and all their districts will be replaced. Those interested can follow the progress of the conversion as well as the power savings in the Internet at


• Since 2006, the SVS has been testing LEDs on its company premises.
• Since the end of 2008, there are no more mercury-containing lamps being used in the twin-city. Instead, the SVS and the city administration rely on sodium-based low-voltage connection lights.
• In 2010, the first national test area was commissioned in VS (Spessartstraße, VS-Schwenningen)
• 2011: 900 LED systems were installed. That same year it was decided: all new systems will be equipped with LEDs
• 2016: Villingen-Schwenningen's municipal council gave the green light for the LED conversion
• 2017: The comprehensive conversion to LED started with the help of funding from the Federal Ministry for the Environment
• 2019: End of the conversion process and of the Project

Contact details: 

Hess GmbH Licht + Form
Marco Walz
Head of Communications and Marketing
Lantwattenstraße 22
78050 Villingen-Schwenningen
Tel.: +49 (0) 7721 920 475

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