The smartest arctic city in the world

Smart lighting control is part of the plan to streamline energy usage and facilitate smart city technology in Svalbard.

TAGS Smart City,   City,   Light Control  
Gamle gatelys Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen, Svalbard

In recent years, the Longyearbyen Lokalstyre has set ambitious goals to reduce its emissions and contribute to several of the UN's sustainable development goals. Longyearbyen is aiming to transition its energy and is working towards becoming a Smart Arctic City. The goal is to create a more human and environmentally friendly city through investment in and facilitation of innovation and smart, energy-efficient solutions. Since Svalbard experiences long, dark winters and short summers, efficient and demand-controlled lighting is crucial for the residents of the archipelago. The existing lighting systems on the island were energy-intensive and costly to maintain. The Longyearbyen Local Authority desired a comprehensive modern control system for street lighting to gain more efficient control over its usage.


Smart lighting control is part of the plan to streamline energy usage and facilitate smart city technology in Svalbard. IoT-based lighting systems, such as smart street lighting systems, can adapt to lighting needs based on the surroundings. This means that lighting can be adjusted as needed, reducing unnecessary energy consumption, extending the lifespan of light sources, and streamlining operations. In 2022, Datek Light Control and the Longyearbyen Local Authority entered into a partnership for smart outdoor lighting and upgrading to smart city infrastructure. The project is well underway, and Longyearbyen now represents Datek's northernmost lighting control system.

Vetle Valhovd

«A dream will come true when we control on all fixtures is a separate dimming regime for spectacular northern lights.»

Lillian Risvaag

The Technology

  • The existing infrastructure in Longyearbyen consisted of several lighting points distributed around the city with varying types of fixtures connected to both conventional and LED-based light sources.
  • A total of 24 zones with streetlight distributions were upgraded with Datek IoT Gateway for control and monitoring via 4G/5G mobile communication.
  • In Longyearbyen, the main rule is based on a LUX meter triggering both in the evening and off in the morning, taking into account varying cloud cover and local light conditions.
  • This achieves a more sensible use of street lighting, with the right light in the right place at the right time.
  • At the school and the ski resort in Longyearbyen, smart fixtures have been established, where each light source can be controlled individually.
  • Longyearbyen now has only one control point instead of 24 separate control points. This simplifies maintenance and synchronizes lighting control.

Next phase

The next phase of the project will be to implement dimming in connection with the transition to LED 2.0.

This will significantly reduce energy consumption, both because dimming reduces energy usage and because new LED fixtures themselves are more energy-efficient. All data is stored and can be easily accessed to provide an overview of precise energy consumption, planned maintenance, and troubleshooting.

Modern Zhaga technology is used today, including motion detectors and radars for activity measurement and traffic monitoring.

In Longyearbyen, all infrastructure is above ground, much of it protected by heating cables, which can be better controlled through Datek's control solution.

«I think it's fun to see how we can use the system in a creative way to solve the challenges that are in special places like here in Svalbard»

Dag Arne Husdal


Light pollution is unwanted or excessive artificial light. Light pollution has adverse effects on both humans, insects, and animals.

- Surrounded by such large areas of untouched nature, light pollution becomes particularly noticeable in a city like Longyearbyen. If you travel out into the valley just outside the city, you quickly realize that it's not as dark as it seems when you're in the middle of the city, says Lillian Risvaag.

Both Lillian and Dag Arne are concerned with optimizing light resource usage. There's a particularly special safety aspect in Svalbard, and residents rely on artificial light during the dark season.

- To preserve darkness, we try to turn off lights where we can, but without compromising safety. We have had visits from polar bears in the city, says Lillian.

Traffic safety is also a significant consideration, especially considering that the street lighting network is not fully developed here in Svalbard. With a comprehensive control solution with LUX meters in Longyearbyen, the lights are only turned on when needed and completely turned off when not needed.

Riktig lys på riktig sted

World´s Northernmost Ski Resort

In February 2024, the official opening of the ski slope in Longyearbyen is set to take place. The ski slope is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the world's northernmost (78° latitude). Naturally, there is a need for extra lighting and safety here. Datek has provided lighting control for 38 lamps in the ski resort. The system allows for the segmentation of light on the slope according to usage. For example, when only children are using certain parts of the slope or to illuminate only where snow is being produced. Additionally, the ski slope is completely turned off at night.

Supplied by Thorn Lightning

These lamps follow the Dark-Sky principle to preserve the natural atmosphere at night and reduce light pollution. They are also energy-efficient, have a long lifespan, and optional surge protection for increased flexibility. Areaflood Pro ensures reliable lighting and a maintenance-free solution.

Longyearbyen alpint

Photo: Dag Arne Husdal, Lillian Risvaag and Vetle Valhovd​

Read more about the project here (Norwegian pdf)

Main goals for the project

  • Reduced operating costs with lower power consumption

  • A holistic management solution for both urban areas, roads, sports etc.

  • Enklere vedlikehold

  • Reduce light pollution and contribute to relevant sustainability goals

Want to learn more about our solutions?

Please contact us!

  • Øyvind Sløgedal
    Øyvind Sløgedal CEO Datek Light Control AS
  • Steinar Olsen
    Steinar Olsen Sales Manager Datek Light Control AS