Always shine right….
Lighting and effect concepts from Cave Lighting

State Bat Conservation Group [Staatlicher Fledermausschutz] and Cave Lighting Work Hand in Hand

After having equipped the show cave areas of the Limestone Cave [Kalksteinhöhle] in Bad Segeberg, the Teufelshöhle in Steinau an d. Str. and  the Sturmannshöhle in the Allgäu - all of which serving as  important roosting sites for bats – with modern LED light, Cave Lighting continue their close cooperation with the state bat conservation group in their latest project: the Heimkehle in the biosphere reserve South Harz Mountains [Südharz].

Not only will the new LED illumination of the Heimkehle (the largest gypsum show cave in Germany) make the cave more attractive to visitors, it will also have a significant and long-term effect on bat conservation!

Where the old, too-strong lighting used to expose every corner, modern LED spotlights today skillfully highlight certain spots, leaving the sensitive ceiling area and bat roosts in darkness. It is this interplay of light and shadow which creates the appropriate atmosphere for visitors.

The Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt alone provides subsidies amounting to 2.2 million Euros for the refurbishment and redesign of the cave and the nature conservation information centre. These are funds from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) [Europäischer Landwirtschaftsfonds für die Entwicklung des ländlichen Raums (ELER)]. The cave is one of the most important roosting sites for bats in the Harz Mountains.

Bernd Ohlendorf from the point of reference for bat conservation [Referenzstelle für Fledermausschutz] in the biosphere reserve South Harz Mountains is convinced that bats will like the new LED light. He would like to advance the refurbishment as quickly as possible, but, unfortunately, part of the money will not flow until 2019, so that the second construction phase will only take place next year. Already now, the Federal State of Thuringia has granted the funds as well -  thus the refurbishment of the cave areas on this side has been greenlighted. The cave has been very important to Ohlendorf for years because it is an important winter habitat for many bat species which are strictly protected all around Europe. The Heimkehle is used as a hibernation site by thousands of animals. He is certain: “In Cave Lighting, we have found a competent partner in the matter of nature conservation and LED illumination.”

From August to the end of September and in cooperation with a local electrical installation company, Project Manager Oliver Heil and Cristian Nitulyscu  installed for the first project phase approx. 240 LEDs up to the state border with Thuringia. Due to bat conservation, the second construction phase will start from April next year.

The gypsum show cave Heimkehle is thus another positive example for sustainable nature conservation which shows that ecology and economy are not necessarily contradictory: The new LED illumination is expected to increase the attractiveness of the cave and thus visitor numbers.

Oliver Heil & Alexander Chrapko

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