Case Study of Project Stakeholder Complaints When Replacing old Street Lights - Dusseldorf, Germany

Posted by Peter on Jul 07 2008 | Case Studies

Here’s a case study showing the importance of finding all the different requirements of stakeholders before embarking on a project.


The municipal power utility in the German city of Dusseldorf recently started a project to replace 10,000 of the 17,000 gas street lights in use in the old city with the latest LED (”Light Emitting Diode”) technology. Good idea. The LED’s are very reliable and cheaper to operate than the current gas lights, although they are more expensive to install and have less light output than the equivalent fluorescent or sodium lamps. This is expected to change as the technology improves in the coming years. Another advantage is that the light beam may be directed very accurately, unlike sodium lamps which throw light all over the place - including through the bedroom windows of people living along the streets!

LED LightYellow LED Light

But not everyone is pleased with the idea of losing the gas lamps. Ulrich Kuipers from the South Westfalia University of Applied Sciences, which developed the Dusseldorf lamps, now admits to ‘making a mistake’ with the initial design, as many residents complained that the light from the new lamps was too cold, as compared to the soft glow of the original gas lights. Luckily, another useful characteristic of LED’s is their ability to produce different colours and hues, which can be used to imitate the old friendly glow.

Lesson Learned:

Get all stakeholders involved as soon as possible with your project design, as they might have concerns that never occurred to you.

1 comment for now

One Response to “Case Study of Project Stakeholder Complaints When Replacing old Street Lights - Dusseldorf, Germany”

  1. Robert DiStefano

    Years ago, New York City removed many of its unique street lamps in favor or a cookie cutter model called a cobra head. After awhile they became tired of the sameness and misssed the old lamps. Now they are installing replicas of old lamps in many neighborhoods especially historic ones. I think you are going to miss the gaslights after awhile. In a few years, leds will be everywhere. You have something unique over there. Think it over before it is too late.

    08 Jul 2008 at 9:13 pm

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