Bird-friendly Clearsky lighting in accordance with Natura 2000 legislation

In order not to disturb the natural migration of birds during their course to the south, Unique Lights has designed Clearsky LED lighting for the industry in Natura 2000 areas.


“The changes are happening. Now, the solution is available too.” says Senior Account Manager Corné Muis. The changes he speaks of is the Natura 2000 legislation, which not only sets lighting requirements, but also dictates general regulations for drilling platforms. The solution he is talking about; tailor-made bird-friendly Clearsky lighting.In accordance with the Natura 2000 legislation, this lighting is created to not disturb the natural migration of birds. But the unique blue / green lighting also brought important benefits for the people on the platforms.Pleasant lighting, greater feelings of safety, and an economic benefit in both energy and maintenance.


Since the early 1990s, NAM has been researching the effects of lighting on oil platforms for migrating birds. Because of the lighting, they risk losing course, which can have unpleasant short and long term consequences for the birds. As such, a lighting clause is included in the Natura 2000 legislation, in which the regulations regarding the lighting of drilling platforms are elaborated upon. The most important factor: no longer using light in the red spectrum.


This is due to an important result from the NAM’s investigation; birds were attracted to the red spectrum in lighting, and were hardly phased by the green or blue spectrum. After the implementation of green lighting on various drilling platforms, the result of the study was confirmed: fewer birds lost their course and more birds were able to continue their migration safely and properly.

Clearsky lighting can be seen implemented in comparison to ‘convential’ lighting


S / P ratio and mesopic light
But the use of this green / blue light brought along more benefits. Not solely for the birds, but this time around the people on the drilling platform saw the perks. They experienced the blue / green light as very comfortable and soothing. Not because green is simply a nice color, but rather due to the S / P ratio of the lighting. A somewhat complicated concept, which mainly concerns the use of the cones and rods in your eye that perceive light. A high S / P ratio means that mainly the rods are used. We call this the scotopic view (S). The rods are active in dimly-lit conditions. The cones, on the other hand, are mainly used in well-lit conditions. This is called the photopic view (P).


Because cones and rods respond differently to color, different colors are best used in different lighting conditions. To activate the rods or cones optimally, the color must therefore be just right. For dimly-lit conditions, that color must primarily activate the rods, resulting in a high S / P ratio.
However, in dimly-lit conditions, the highest achievable S / P ratio is not the best solution. This is mainly because solely the rods are active at this ratio. In mesopic light, on the other hand, the center point between the two areas mentioned earlier, the color is as such that both the cones and the rods in the eyes are activated. Mesopic light therefore has a high S / P ratio, but not so high that the rods are doing all the work. This gives a much calmer feeling to the eyes, which makes seeing a lot less tiring.


On the right: Green/blue Clearksy luminairs


LED lighting in Natura 2000 areas
In order to create the ideal lighting conditions, it is therefore especially important to be able to accurately determine the color of the lighting. This can be achieved due to being able to filter certain colors with LED-lighting. This is why LED lighting is perfect for such complex light issues.

In the case of drilling platforms, the use of LED can perfectly facilitate the required green / blue light by completely filtering the red spectrum. This proved to be an ideal solution not only for the birds, but also for the employees on the drilling platform. The mesopic light ensures that they see more contrast in the dark and can distinguish colors better. The improved visibility makes them feel safer and the work can be done even more effectively.


Clearsky lighting for RWE Generation Eemshaven power station
Unique Lights creates a tailor-made LED solution for every customer to replace conventional luminaires for LED luminaires. The first Clearsky luminaires are currently being installed for RWE Generation in the Eemshaven. Here too, the use of Clearksy lighting complies with the Natura 2000 legislation to make bird-friendly, saving LED lighting a reality.


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