Lighting the way, preserving the night: Adaptive lighting enhances cycling experience in Münster.

The city of Münster, the bicycle capital of Germany, chooses Tvilight’s motion sensor street lighting solution to offer the right amount of illumination, at the right time, at the right place.


  • Over 27-KM bicycle road is equipped with Tvilight’s award-winning motion sensor, CitySense Plus
  • The street lights brighten only when a cyclist or pedestrian approaches; then they dim down to a preset level again automatically
  • Adaptive lighting saves over 70% energy every night and reduces equivalent carbon footprint
  • Nocturnal ecosystems benefit thanks to the significant reduction in light pollution
  • The city of Muenster received the “German Bicycle Prize” for this project

Customer Need

More comfort for cyclists on the Dortmund-Ems Canal

The city of Münster has 315.000 inhabitants and is growing. Bicycling is an integral part of the city. Locals as well as tourists take 400.000 bicycle rides every day. They travel 1.2 million kilometers and spend 20 minutes a day on their bike.

Cycling has to be fun. The cycle paths must be comfortable and safe to ride on, at any time of the day in any weather. That is why the city of Muenster wanted to realize a forward-looking bicycle project – the Kanalpromenade.

Kanalpromenade is a 27-km bicycle path along the Dortmund-Ems Canal, connecting Send (amusement park) to Greven to the east of the city. The path was very narrow, with grit and gravel, potholes and puddles spread across numerous places. Furthermore, there were no lights on the path. All of this was making the route unsafe and less enjoyable.

Munster wished to address these issues and renovate the Kanalpromenade route. They wanted to expand the path and make the surface smooth so that cycling becomes more comfortable. Furthermore, they wanted to illuminate the path in an environmentally friendly way, which can conserve resources, protect the environment and increase the user’s individual sense of security. They needed an intelligent lighting system that is beneficial for both humans and local wildlife.

Adaptive Street Lighting - Muenster

Adaptive Street Lighting on Kanalpromenade


Adaptive beleuchtung | Motion sensor street lighting

The city chose Tvilight’s revolutionary motion sensor street lighting solution, CitySense Plus. The selection was made after extensive and precise testing in cooperation with the Münster University of Applied Sciences (FH Münster), which concluded that Tvilight PIR motion sensors were more suitable than radar sensors from other specialists.

LED lights were used there, and two different sensor systems were attached at the same time. These sensors ensure intelligent, so-called adaptive lighting. If nobody is near a sensor, the light automatically dims down. If there is a road user on the road, the sensors recognize this and the light shines brighter – but only the light directly next to the pedestrian and the two lights that follow it. A honeycomb of light is thus created that accompanies people,” explains Prof. Dr. Birgit Hartz and Robin Kersten from the Department of Civil Engineering at FH Münster. “The energy saving potential is correspondingly high. It’s 70 percent.”

They further emphasized, “We tested sensor systems from two manufacturers, an infrared sensor on twelve lights and a radar sensor on seven others. Infrared sensors detect people through heat radiation, radar sensors react to speed. Both systems would have worked relatively well. Regardless of the weather conditions, the sensors worked largely without errors. However, the radar sensor we tested did not respond at low speeds, for example by pedestrians with walkers. Our advice is therefore to use infrared sensors for the cycle path and sidewalk area.”

All the intelligent street lights are connected to a centralized lighting management system, CityManager. It allows operators to monitor, manage and control street lights remotely through an easy-to-use web interface. The system also offers automatic alerts/ notifications in case any street light failure arises. Furthermore, CityManager is built on Open APIs, so integrating other smart systems, such as CCTV cameras, acoustic sensors, etc., is easy.

Results & Benefits

Comfortable, safe and eco-friendly bike course

The investment in adaptive street lighting system on Kanalpromenade has yielded substantial benefits for both the road users and environment. On 20th June, the project received first place in the “Infrastructure” category at the Deutsche Fahrradpreis 2023 (German Bicycle Prize), a nationwide competition that has been honoring projects and measures to promote cycling.

Energy Efficiency

The use of smart adaptive lighting results in a significant reduction in energy usage. By offering on-demand lighting, in other words, adequate light only when a human is around, the Kanalpromenade bicycle path saves over 80% energy every night!

Smart Adaptive Lighting - Energy Efficiency
Motion Sensor Street Lighting - Muenster

Better Safety and Comfort

The adaptive lighting system greatly improves road safety by providing optimal illumination, precisely when and when needed. Cyclists and pedestrians benefit from better visibility, improving their confidence and comfort when using the path. With better cycling infrastructure now, there has been more than a 30% increase in the number of cyclists.

Environmental Impact

The motion sensor street lights dim down to a preset level when there is no one around. This substantially reduces light pollution and carbon emissions. By using energy-efficient LED lamps and adaptive lighting controller, the project has contributed to creating a sustainable and eco-friendly bicycle path.

Motion Sensor Street Lighting - Environmental Impact
Motion Sensor Street Lighting - Optimize Maintenance

Optimal Maintenance

The investment in smart street lighting system significantly lowers the operating and maintenance costs. Remote monitoring and control reduce manual inspections and improve response times, enabling efficient maintenance practices. Automatic alerts/ notifications allow for swift corrective actions, reducing downtime and related expenses.

Future Prospect

An excellent nationwide example

The success of the Kanalpromenade project sets an inspiring nationwide example for the adoption of smart street lighting in Germany and beyond. The exceptional energy efficiency and enhanced safety, without any negative impact on the environmental position smart street lights as a perfect solution for any roadway infrastructure projects.

The system is very sustainable because we really only need as much energy as cyclists and pedestrians are on Kanalpromenade and we also have less light emission and thus also protect the animal world very well.

Andreas Groot-KormelinkAmt fur Mobilitat und Tiefbau der Stadt Munster

I commute to the city center every day, unfortunately far too seldom by bike. I think it’s great what the city is doing here, that they’re really expanding something. If things continue like this, I can very well imagine actually riding my bike every day.

A cyclist

I actually go jogging every other day – and I’ve stumbled quite a few times. At least now I can see where I’m running. That’s really nice.

A young jogger

Be it a motorway or a cycling path, roads should be safer and more comfortable. Smart street lighting makes achieving these goals easy. It offers the right among of light, at the right place, at the right time, which significantly improves visibility and makes road users feel safe and comfortable. We are delighted that the City of Münster chooses smart lighting solutions to make roads safer and sustainable.

Heide JeukenCEO, Tvilight

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TVILIGHT PROJECTS B.V. is a European market leader specializing in motion sensors, wireless lighting controllers, and a complete portfolio of street light management software – to manage, monitor, operate and maintain citywide public lighting infrastructure. Our smart lighting platform and open API allow integration to city’s preferred software platform and thus constitute an open, reliable and future-proof base for Smart Cities and the Internet of Things. The company has installed over 800 projects globally across 20+ countries, including iconic cities and critical infrastructure around the world. Tvilight’s international projects include Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Dutch Railways, Port of Moerdijk, Seoul, Beijing, as well as some of the largest German cities such as Düren, Münster, Cologne, Dortmund, and Berlin. To discover more about us and our products, visit