Josephine Baker College

CITEA NG2 solar lighting solution saves energy and fits into the college’s sustainable eco-system

Josephine Baker College opened its doors in September 2022 to welcome secondary school pupils from the town of Saint-Donat-sur-l'Herbasse in the Drôme region of France. Designed to be the “school of tomorrow”, it was built as a sustainable eco-system with wood from the nearby Alps and 450m² of solar panels. It has been awarded the High Environment Quality Label.

Eager to continue with the sustainable development approach, the local authorities wanted a solar lighting solution for the outdoor areas as it offers several advantages: 

  • it doesn’t need to be connected to the electricity grid;
  • it is autonomous;
  • it requires minimal maintenance.

A solar lighting solution to meet requirements

The solar version of the CITEA NG2 Midi was chosen for its performance and elegant design. We worked with Sunna Design, our solar lighting partner, to carefully assess the outdoor areas as several factors had to be taken into account: 

  • solar shading: a thorough evaluation of the site to determine where shadows from objects such as buildings and trees could be cast and where the luminaires would receive maximum sunlight;
  • autonomy: the optimum operating profile of the luminaires (light source power, orientation, tilt...) is calculated based on the customer's specifications; 
  • photometry: an analysis of the areas to define the number of luminaires to be installed and their spacing to ensure the right light levels and uniformity for well-lit spaces. 

Following the different studies, 18 CITEA NG Midi (20W) luminaires with a 45° inclined solar panel were installed. They are programmed with the following scenarios to ensure a safe and comfortable environment during the school’s opening hours: 

  • 100% for the first two hours after sunset;
  • 30% during the night;
  • 100% one hour before sunrise.

Quick and easy installation

The installation was a very smooth process as it’s very much like building a Lego, all the different elements (luminaire, solar panel kit, mounting and bracket) fit together easily. Once they are all connected, the solar lighting system is plug-and-play so it’s ready to go.

Thanks to the Sunnapp, any anomalies or problems encountered on-site are quickly reported.

A safe and sustainable environment 

The solar lighting solution is self-sufficient in terms of energy management. This self-sufficiency means that there is no risk of blackouts at night due to a lack of electricity.

One year after the installation, the local authorities are pleased with the solar lighting solution, which lights the outdoor spaces to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for the pupils when the school is open after dark while saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions.



Drôme regional authorities


Architect: K Architectures
Installation: SPIE Chatuzange le Goulet
Photographer: Jean-Baptiste Guerlesquin