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LED streetlights are sustainable & generate huge cost-savings

LED streetlights are sustainable & generate huge cost-savings

By BizLED Bureau

October 2, 2015: Worldwide, more and more cities are replacing their streetlights with LED lights due to benefits like energy saving and cost saving and sustainability. From Detroit to Los Angles to Chicago, Shanghai, Copenhagen to many Indian cities, all converting their conventional street lights like fluorescent, compact fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs into LED lamps. Analysis of LED streetlight projects in different cities has shown investments pay off fast as well as long-term savings due to long lifespan of LED light bulbs.

Switching to LED street lighting can decrease global energy consumption by 40%, saving over US$ 160 billion per year, and controlling about 670 million tons of CO2 emissions.

Over the past couple of years, costs of LED streetlights have decreased by about 50%, leading to boost in sales worldwide. According to a study, LED street lighting systems will over shadow high pressure sodium lamps by 2015. The study says that LED streetlights alone will generate revenue of over US$ 2 billion annually by 2020.

So, let?s find out how a city can benefit by shifting to LED streetlights. What are the advantages of replacing traditional street lighting systems with energy-efficient and cost-effective LED lighting solutions?

Advantages of LED street lighting

LED streetlights? cost-saving factor, besides its improving efficiency is responsible for the rapid increase in LED streetlight retrofitting projects worldwide. Cities shifting to LED lighting are saving a good amount in their energy bills.

The immense environmental and financial benefits are drawing more and more city authorities to retrofit their conventional lighting systems with LED solutions. Also, high quality white lighting of LED lights is making them popular among the vehicle drivers, cyclists and pedestrians for safety and security issues. LED light bulbs provide clearer and illuminated vision as compared to traditional streetlights.

A major advantage of LED streetlights is that LEDs have extremely long lives. Since they do not have filaments, they do not burn out quickly. LED streetlights have as long as 50,000 to 100,000 hours of lifepan. While LEDs use just 15% energy used by an incandescent bulb, they generate more light per watt. LEDs produce 80 lumens per watt, while traditional streetlights can only produce 58 lumens per watt.

Unlike traditional mercury vapor lamps or high pressure sodium lamps, LED lights do not contain toxic chemicals like mercury. LED lights also have minimum maintenance costs because they are sustainable products and have very long lives. Hence, they save time and money in replacing streetlights often. Also, they give off less heat than other bulbs.

LED lights have improved power usage. While many light fixtures emit a fraction of the light produced, LED lights waste little light and have a maximum power efficacy. LED lights do not need to warm up. They can turn on instantly.

Equally important are its components

There are different designs in LED streetlights?some incorporate various types of LEDs into a fixture, but the trend is to use high power 1 watt LEDs. Some also use low power LEDs, like low power LEDs packed together as a single high power LED. The shape of LED streetlights depends on factors like the heat sink, the aesthetic design, etc. Heat sinks play very important role in LED streetlights as they directly affects the lifespan of the LED streetlight. The lifespan of an LED streetlight is also determined by its light output. Once the brightness of LED streetlight decreases by 30%, it is taken as the end of its life.

Streetlights have a lens, which casts its light in a rectangular pattern, as a result it does not require a reflector like a traditional high pressure sodium lamp.

Successful case studies

Now, let?s find out how some of the major LED streetlight projects are faring, worldwide. A study of 15 LED streetlight projects in 12 cities across the world, including London, New York and Kolkata, found that in some projects, LED streetlights accounted for 85% cut down in energy costs. The study indicated that citizens also preferred LED streetlights due to environmental and social benefits. In London, Kolkata, Toronto and Sydney, 68%-90% respondents said that they approve LED streetlights.

LED streetlight project in London

London will get a large deployment of LED street lights by 2016, and through this project, the city aims to save 40% energy, and 60% cut down in carbon emissions by 2025. London will upgrade 35,000 streetlights with LED lamps in the first phase, and install a network of control systems to monitor the LED streetlights. However, London will upgrade all its streetlights over the next 10 years. As per estimate, the first phase will reduce emissions by 9700 metric tons annually and save about $3 million?a 40% savings.

LED streetlight project in Los Angeles

One of the most successful LED streetlight projects was witnessed in Los Angeles, USA. In 2009, President Bill Clinton had started the project to retrofit 140,000 street lights. By January 2014, 114,067 out of 210,000 streetlights were replaced with LED lights, which lead to 63.3% rise in electricity savings. With the installation of LED streetlights, maintenance costs of streetlights have also decrease significantly. Prior to the LED streetlight project, Los Angeles had registered 70,000 street light maintenance and repair in 2008 as compared to 46,300 in 2012. It was revealed that LED streetlights failed at a rate of only 0.02%. With installation of LED lights, Los Angeles has also recorded fall in crime rate at night as LED lights have improved visibility at night.


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11 comments

  1. Basically, depends on following key factors;

    1.) Is it Truly LED Street Lights or not ?
    2.) Power Drive Units efficiency exact rate Not Power Factor;
    3.) LED Lights Resource Performance;
    4.) Secondary Optical Performance;
    5.) Right Choice on Raw Materials of Heat-Sink for the best Thermal Dissipation.

    If above factors are consideration completely that can save more than 80% not 40% only, but 99% LED Lights manufacturers & supplier cannot match unfortunately.

    Of course, we, MoriLite Street Lights can meet above conditions with the best CP value in the world.

  2. Steve Danner, Wilmington, NC, Misc. Expert Services

    Who will be the one to manage to get induction lighting to large scale (willing to remove those in the way, from what I understand)

  3. An especially interesting opportunity for ultra high quality manufacturers to sell across the world

  4. Led Street Light is powerful option for brightness to street, garden, factory and so on. I would like to share Best LED Street Light Manufacturers in Chenna

  5. Les Kacev, Principal at LEDmetric

    There is no doubt that LED streetlights reduce utility bills and carbon footprint. However, there is much debate regarding the choice of CCT. There are those who favor higher CCT[4500K and above, usually up to 6500K] for visual acuity, lux and S/P ratios. In contrast, there are those who consider the “blue” component unacceptable for light pollution and its effects on flora and fauna including insects, birds, bats, fish, mammals and of course humans. There will be a lot of debate before these issues are settled and much harm may be done in the meantime.

  6. Albert Roseiro, Ph.D.Senior Engineer and Scientist

    The other aspect, we need to consider the wall plug efficiency as well as Lm/W efficiency when decreasing the CCT. It is all about presenting the energies saving factor in the right way accepted by engineering and finance including cost of maintenance which could impact the ROI.

  7. Jeff Walters, Director, Control Technology at EYE Lighting International of North America

    This fantasy article says; “…..all converting their conventional street lights like fluorescent, compact fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs into LED lamps”. and the claims big savings.

    The fact is, the most common streetlight in the USA is HPS (high pressure sodium). Kw-hr saving going from HPS (or MH) to LED is only 10-15% at best. And the power that is saved is night time off-peak power at only a few cents per kw-hr. There is no real energy saving. But there is a substantial up-front cost to go to LED streetlight. Where are cities going to get the cash today for this expense?

  8. Nuevo Sol Asesoría Energética

    Excellent article! and totally right with you!

  9. Who will be the one to manage to get induction lighting to large scale (willing to remove those in the way, from what I understand). If done properly, the savings should be well over 65% energy savings, plus maintenance savings.

  10. I am greatly concerned about the the ongoing 5% to 7% growth of light pollution and its impact on humans ,plants and animals.This less expensive lighting will be used to light more and continue this trend.Currently 90% of the world’s people live in areas where the Milky Way is no longer visible because we have over 100 times more light at night than we did only a few decades ago.
    LED lights are an opportunity to look at issues like glare control,up lighting overlighting, having lights on all night where no one goes .LEDs are dimmable ,easy on,easy off so they do present a huge opportunity to save on the light use side as well as the light generation side .If you look at both issues you can save up to 95% of your lighting energy costs and still have adequate lighting when and where you need it.

  11. christian monrad

    Induction lighting is a very poor choice for roadway lighting due to its omnidirectional output and associated optical inefficiency. In most cases, over 25% of induction lamp emissions never even get out of the luminaire and what does escape is not optimally aimed.

    I have run side-by-side photometric studies and find that LED street lights provide 50% more energy efficiency and 10 times better uniformity ratios than do induction street lights.

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