Lighting control systems in tunnels

By: Javier
23 de June, 2022
Reading time: 5 min

Controlling illumination in tunnels is a very efficient way of achieving maximum visual comfort while consuming as little energy as possible. In constructions of this kind, it is important to monitor light parameters very closely. Using control tools that can adapt parameters to suit lighting needs translates into enhanced quality, safety and energy efficiency.

In this article we will talk about...

  • How the lighting control systems in tunnels work
  • The advantages of lighting control systems
  • The main uses for control systems

How the lighting control systems in tunnels work

Tunnel lighting programs control the amount of light emitted by luminaires. The parameters even take local characteristics and conditions into account, meaning that they can manage changes in a quick, simple, coordinated and remote manner.

These intelligent tools function thanks to programmable devices, motion sensors and the luminous flux based on how much natural light there is. This means it is possible to adjust exactly how much light is emitted from LED light sources and program or monitor the condition of luminaires. Usage is also optimised and this brings cleaning, repair and maintenance costs down quite significantly.

The advantages of lighting control systems

It is now possible to manage lighting systems in tunnels down to the very last detail by using intelligent control tools. These systems help to improve safety because they decrease or intensify light emissions in different areas of tunnels.

This is one of their main advantages and, as is only to be expected, use of control systems is on the increase. In fact, not only are they being used more frequently in civil engineering projects, they are also being installed in many other places and being put to a range of different uses.

Iluminación tunel peatonal

Efficient illumination

With control systems, it is possible to automatically adjust the intensity of the light at tunnel entrances and exists. This improves visual comfort, driver safety and network efficiency.

Furthermore, installation and maintenance is very simple. This minimises how often facilities need to be closed for repair work. Maintenance is optimised and there is a swift return on investment.

Furthermore, depending on the specific needs in the tunnel, light intensity levels can be adapted to suit each area. It is also possible to turn luminaires on and off remotely. The system can be programmed to have certain characteristics and parameters, which can be recurrent or alternating, as preferred. It is also possible to focus on poorly lit sections of tunnels to minimise grey areas.

Lighting control in real time

Luminaire control technology can be used to control the network in real time. In other words, not only is it possible to program certain actions such as turning lights on and off and light intensity, it is also possible to manage luminaires in real time.

LED technology enhances the agility, versatility and quality of luminaire networks by minimising the need for accessories and the actual size of electric panels installed in the tunnels. This translates into huge energy and financial savings compared with more conventional methods.

Financial savings

Financial savings are one of the major advantages of using light control systems. Since they can adapt to all different environments and light conditions, climate and traffic density, consumption levels can be controlled and reduced.

The fact that they have incorporated dimmers, motion and presence sensors, photosensors and timers means that they have top-of-the-range adjustment features. This can help to ensure that consumption stays at just the appropriate level.

The main uses for control systems

Control systems for LED tunnel illumination are used primarily in areas where extra light is needed at certain times of the day. Many tunnels have incorporated lighting programs.


Dimmers mean that levels of illumination can be adapted. Activation can be manual or via sensors. When luminaires turn on, the output can be adjusted and this helps to make energy savings. In addition, it also increases the useful life of luminaires.

This is particularly true when LED technology is employed. Sometimes specially-designed luminaires that dim lights to just the right level are required.

Motion sensors

These devices turn luminaires on and off depending on if there is anyone in the area or not. When an area is not in use, the lights go off automatically and this saves energy.

They also make those particular areas of tunnels especially safe. Sometimes they are used in conjunction with photosensors.

Entrada tunel de carretera


Photosensors can be used to adapt artificial lighting to natural light. Again, energy savings are one of their main advantages, but making efficient use of a combination of sunlight and luminaires is also another very important feature.

Lighting control is an increasingly common aspect of all kinds of civil works. Its wide range of advantages and the speed with which investments can be recouped make it very appealing indeed. Lighting control is accessible, practical and delivers great results.

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