The Dutch oil company NAM and Philips have developed a new type of lighting . The lamps radiate a limited part of the color spectrum. Due to the lights’ unique coloring, migrating birds traveling over the North Sea are less likely to be distracted by them.
The lights are already in use on one oil platform in the Dutch part of the North Sea. The test case has been very positive so far.
Every year 60 million birds travel over the North Sea. Most birds make their journey safely and without incident. However up to 10% of the migrating birds can become distracted by the lights on offshore oil platforms. The birds may end up circling the oil platform for a long time before collapsing from exhaustion into the platform or the sea.
NAM has been seriously researching this problem and came up with the different type of light being a possible solution. Birds are especially distracted by reds in the color spectrum, and not as much by blues and greens. Normally, light which lacks reds would be a problem for the oil platform workers. NAM joined with Philips to come up with a solution that was safe for both the birds and the oil platform workers.
The oil platform L15, off the coast of Vlieland, was equipped with a mix of the special TL- and HID-bulbs. The test is currently studying not only the reaction of the area birds but also the safety standards of the workers on the platform. Beside the reduction in bird-related incidents, so far testing has complied to all human safety standards as well. The final results of the study will be prepared after the fall migration.