Street lighting meets essential public needs and makes our neighbourhoods more pleasant places to live. The challenges of this lighting are constantly evolving, from safety to well-being, aesthetics and ecology.

Like other major cities, Brussels is constantly investing in its street lighting system. Over the last few years, urban lighting has undergone spectacular development, with one core aim: better, smarter lighting. Today, almost 90,000 luminaires light up the night time throughout the Brussels region.

Table of Contents

  1. The origins of urban lighting
  2. The new challenges of street lighting
  3. The street lighting of tomorrow: smart LEDs
  4. Biodiversity and light pollution
  5. Efficient use of urban space
  6. Showcasing of heritage
  7. Sibelga, guardian of light


Sibelga only manages street lighting on municipal roads, as regional roads are managed by Brussels Mobility.

Street lighting in Brussels over the years

The origins of urban lighting

From the very beginnings of street lighting, over 3 centuries ago, the aim was to make streets brighter and safer.

Over time, our cities have densified and the number of cars has increased. New requirements have emerged, such as improved road safety and the illumination of shops and monuments.

More natural lighting

The new challenges of street lighting

In recent years, lighting has evolved towards a more uniform and pleasant light. Lamps have become less powerful but more numerous, and are directed towards the ground to minimise disturbances on façades.

At a time of climate change and the energy transition, new challenges are emerging:

  • Moderating energy consumption;
  • Protecting the environment;
  • Reducing light pollution.

That's why old-fashioned lamps are now giving way to LED technologies, which offer more compact, more aesthetic and more energy-efficient devices. And above all, they're essential for smart lighting!

Multifunctional lighting

The street lighting of tomorrow: smart LEDs

At the start of 2024, almost 17,000 bulbs have already been replaced with smart LEDs, representing 20% of the 90,000 luminaires in Brussels. The objective for 2030 is for 100% of our street lights to use connected LEDs!

Smart street lighting improves the quality of life of all Brussels residents. Able to be controlled remotely and to communicate in real time on their operating status, smart luminaires have many advantages.

  • Energy savings of 35% by 2035.
  • Reduced disturbance, thanks to dimming.
  • Quicker resolution of failures.
Street lighting in figures

Biodiversity and light pollution

Although essential for residents, artificial lighting at night can be harmful to flora and fauna, which are already vulnerable in urban areas. It is therefore necessary to find the right balance between the need for lighting and respect for the environment.

For several years now, pilot projects such as the Bat Light District in Jette have been underway to reduce the impact of lighting on biodiversity. Avenue du Sacré-Cœur has recently been fitted with orange LED lighting. This is a softer light, better suited to the nocturnal life of bats, which are present in large numbers in this area.

In one single night, a bat can eat up to 3,000 insects, including mosquitoes, making it an essential natural insecticide for the balance of our ecosystem.

Claire Brabant, in charge of the bats mission at Natagora.

Sibelga is also experimenting with the installation of light bubbles to reduce light pollution. Using sensors incorporated into the lamp posts, the lighting of the luminaires can be intensified or reduced according to the passage of pedestrians or cyclists.

Efficient use of urban space

Urban space is limited, and it's essential to use it as efficiently as possible, so we're optimising the use of our lamp posts by sharing them with other stakeholders. For example, for the installation of public WiFi or air pollution sensors. 

We are also testing the integration of electric charging stations on lamp posts, and the addition of luminaires on catenary poles on the new tram 10 route.

Showcasing of heritage

In collaboration with the municipalities, Sibelga also contributes its expertise to the lighting of several public buildings.

Since 2021, we've been working with Urban Brussels on the lighting of several listed Art Nouveau buildings, including the Hannon House, the Hôtel Van Eetvelde, the Cauchie House, the Victor Horta Museum and the buildings surrounding the Place Royale.

The lighting should enhance the building, without distorting it. It must respect the spirit of the building, taking into account its history, the desires of its architect, and also its function.

Madjid Teklal, Illuminations Project Manager and Urban Projects Coordinator.

Sibelga, guardian of light

Every year, we carry out an average of almost 300 interventions following acts of vandalism on the network. We also implement solutions to prevent these uncivil acts – such as installing overhead cabinets or using reinforced cabinets. 

We also make an average of 700 repairs a month to resolve failures on the network.

In addition, we focus our attention on continuous improvements in the reporting and handling of failures, which is why we've carried out a complete digital mapping of the street lighting network and developed a new application to make it easier to report failures.

Our aim is to keep Brussels shining brightly, for the safety and well-being of all.