Cat eye lights built into a road (with video)

a bird's eye view of a Dutch roundabout
A bird's eye view of the Dutch roundabout with the location of my video lights in the green circle
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Last year, when I was visiting the Netherlands, I drove home one night and noticed these interesting little lights at a roundabout. Of course I needed to know more about it and I returned a few nights later to check out what it was all about.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed these were very flat cat eye lights built into the road deck. Decades ago, I remember you would sometimes see something similar in temporary lanes on highways, when there was work being done on the road. However, those were reflectors.

Solar powered cat eye lights

Technology improved and now I noticed these were actually solar powered lights. How cool is that?

I decided to hang around a bit at that roundabout and shoot some footage of the lights as it was gradually getting darker.

A close up of the light in (on?) the asphalt

A bit of video footage of the lights

Note that the camera (an Iphone 1 from 2016) compensates somewhat for the darkness: it was a bit darker in reality. But I think you get the idea.

Here is a one minute clip on how that works for pedestrians and cyclists. I am sure the residents in the building across were wondering what that man was lurking around at that roundabout in the semi dark, particularly as there appeared to be a young women’s hockey practise somewhere down the road.

The things you do for a bicycle blog….

More on my cycling in the Netherlands adventures in this post about boat and bike.


  1. Florida is an interesting car centric state with appalling road fatalities yet I frequently see the latest technology in use, such as 2 ton bollards to protect ped crossings and yup, I’ve seen those flashing lights there too, in a shallow kerf cut into the asphalt.

  2. Hans, did you notice if they were flush with the road? Big complaint about the reflector type was that here in Canada our snow clearing apparatus would wipe out all the reflectors.

    • From what I remember it appeared they looked glued on but less than a cm high. But even when you’d lower them into the asphalt, they’d either get covered by a thin layer of ice and snow or the electronics get totally destructed by salt. It would be tough to implement here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.