Motorway driving can be a dangerous activity when the road is long and monotonous. By incorporating unexpected scenographic elements in roadside lighting, ÅF Lighting has contributed to greater traffic safety on an otherwise uneventful stretch of the E6 motorway in Norway.
The E6 motorway cuts through Norway from north to south. Since 2008, ÅF Lighting has provided roadside lighting for a 100 km stretch running from Oslo’s main airport Gardermoen to the municipality of Biri.
Research has shown that variation and visual stimuli increases wakefulness and concentration in drivers. Therefore, Norwegian road authorities aim to increase driving safety by including “eventfulness” in any road development. In line with this, ÅF has developed road lighting solutions that encompass lighting of scenographic elements and visual roadside “events” in addition to purely functional elements.
Pulse concept improves traffic safety
The overall concept for ÅF’s road lighting design is called ‘Pulse’. It involves the illumination of characteristic features along the motorway - natural as well as man-made constructions – creating a natural rhythm, and drawing attention to the pulse of the journey through the landscape.
Illuminating bridges, service areas, large rocks and mountain sides in this way is not only aesthetically pleasing, but crucially, it increases night time road safety by combating monotony. It also aids navigation, for at night, the human eye naturally searches for bright points to extract information about space and direction. In a dark landscape, it is essential to have bright spots to guide you.
At Strandlykkja a moving palette follows the driver
Approximately 70 km north of Oslo, 19 massive wooden poles stand out in the Nordic landscape and a moving palette of blue colours follows the driver passing the rest area at Strandlykkja.
The poles form an array of lighting on each side of the highway, creating a new landmark keeping drivers alert while adding an attractive element to the harsh Nordic landscape in the daytime as well as at night.
To passing drivers, the poles appear like a screen, due to the way they are placed.
Passing by the installation at night, a dynamic colour palette inspired by the Nordic sky moves over the poles and creates an impression of colours moving along with the driver.
”This project holds a special place in my heart and I am very proud of the result. We have used only the best materials and it has been great to both design the lighting and the massive wooden poles. We have created a unique experience for those driving by and a place to rest and enjoy nature” says Morten Jensen (Manager ÅF Lighting, Norway).
Over the past few years, ÅF Lighting has worked in a similar way on several other motorway projects, adding a unique combination of safety and new visual experiences.