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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