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Migros Verteilbetrieb - a controlled lighting solution


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  • Lamp efficacy

    Lamp efficacy

    Ensuring the lamp efficiently converts electricity into light (lm/W).

  • Ballast classification

    Ballast classification

    Controlling the electricity supply to the lamp (Energy Efficiency Index).

  • Luminaire distribution

    Luminaire distribution

    Controlling light emission using optics which bend and shape the light to the correct location.

  • System efficacy

    System efficacy

    Combining optical and thermal control within the luminaire (luminaire lm/W).

  • Presence/absence detection

    Presence/absence detection

    Presence: Lights automatically turn on/off with movement. Absence: Lights automatically turn off and must be manually switched on.

  • Daylight detection

    Daylight detection

    Artificial lighting which responds to the natural light conditions.

  • Constant illuminance

    Constant illuminance

    A function designed to produce correct light levels for the duration of the maintenance period.

  • Task-scene setting

    Task-scene setting

    Allowing the user to set scenes and adapt the lighting to different tasks.

  • Timed off

    Timed off

    Automatic cut-off can be installed to turn all lights off during unoccupied hours.

  • Task lighting

    Task lighting

    Lighting task areas with the correct amount of light.

  • Zoning of lighting

    Zoning of lighting

    Lighting is zoned according to area use.

  • Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance must be performed in response to product age, performance and environment.

  • Waste light

    Waste light

    Eliminating waste light which does not hit the intended target.

  • Reflectance


    Taking advantage of light which is reflected from the surface within the space.

  • Visible smart metering

    Visible smart metering

    Results of actions can be quickly seen as increased or decreased energy use to encourage responsible energy consumption.

Click here to watch the case study video.

Migros is one of Switzerland’s leading supermarket retailers. As such, its distribution centre at Migros Verteilbetrieb in Neuendorf (MVB) is an extremely busy logistics hub where cargo is handled around the clock.

At the Neuendorf site, the delivery and distribution of goods to the regional distribution centers and ultimately to the stores takes place both by rail and road.

The existing lighting had been in place for 30 or 40 years and consisted of traditional sodium lamps that were both inefficient, expensive, and difficult to maintain. As well as wanting to improve efficiency and reduce maintenance and costs, safety and sustainability was a key goal for this project.

In 2022, Thorn was commissioned to equip the site with a more modern lighting solution. Isaro Pro luminaires (Zhaga-ready) with Thorn’s UrbaSens City Connect control solution were used.

The safety aspect was one of the key challenges to overcome during the installation phase. ‘Safety is a big priority at the site,’ said Maciej Holzer, Head of Building Services at MVB. On site are continuously operating shunting trains, so lighting is a constant requirement, “we cannot afford to have an accident.”

Tobias Kocher, Managing Director and Head of Electrical in the area of Solothurn / Bern at CKW who installed the lighting solution on site added, “We cannot simply cordon off a small working area. Here we had to shut down overhead lines and stop vehicle movements, so it was a big operational task.”

Thanks to great coordination and strict time schedules, the new lighting was installed successfully with minimum downtime, and its impact has been recognised by workers across the Neuendorf site.

“We work in shifts starting early in the morning from 4am until 1pm and then from 2pm until 11/11.30 in the evening. The new lighting is noticeably brighter in the morning and feels more comfortable to work under than in the past. You can also see better in fog and bad weather, which is very important for us in terms of safety,” said Peter Wälchli, one of MVB’s shunting locomotive drivers.

The Isaro Pro luminaires are certified with the International Dark-Sky Association’s ‘Fixture Seal of Approval’. The luminaires themselves therefore help to protect the nighttime environment in Neuendorf. In addition, the use of the UrbaSens City Connect control solution further optimises the overall scheme. With a full suite of control, connectivity and data analysis reports, users are able to measure energy savings, CO2 emissions and access a heat map showing how the space is used overtime.

The use of UrbaSens City Connect ensures that when an area of the site is not being used, lighting dims down. Tobias Kocher said, “Installing the controls system was very simple in principle. We had to be careful not to mix up the serial numbers of the sensors that identify the individual luminaires on a system, but generally speaking, it was easy to do.”

The new lighting solution shows that Migros Verteilbetrieb not only talks about sustainability – they put it into practice, too.

Maciej Holzer confirmed, “We are planning further renovations for the future and eventually, we want to connect the whole area using UrbaSens. Not only does it make sense economically and environmentally, it shows we are considerate of the community around us, as well.”

The cooperation between the Migros distribution company, the CKW electricians and Thorn has proved very successful, as everyone involved agrees.