Street lighting has come a long way since the early days of oil lamps, gas lamps, arc lighting and incandescent lighting. Sodium vapor lamps in use today are slowly giving way to LED outdoor lighting.
With streetlights numbering in the hundreds of thousands in an some cities, one might guess why LED lighting would be attractive. LED outdoor lighting takes up less space and operates on way less power than typical street lighting. Additionally, they last about 100,000 hours, requiring less maintenance.
The nearly 35 million streetlights in the US consume approximately 1% of all electricity generated here. The Clinton Climate Initiative‘s Outdoor Lighting Program and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA] have gone a long way to helping municipalities realize the many benefits of LED outdoor lighting.
LED lighting tends to be more expensive up front, but many cities have taken advantage of subsidy programs to better bear the cost and realize the benefits. In a recent survey of over 100 cities implementing LED outdoor lighting, some 45% had received some of their funding from ARRA.
The study, conducted by Northeast Group LLC, also found that 95% of the cities polled were satisfied with the overall performance of the LED outdoor lighting. “”LED streetlights are transforming cities and municipalities across the US,” said Northeast Group.
“Not only are LEDs helping save money through reduced energy and maintenance costs, but 95% of the cities and municipalities we surveyed said both they and residents were very happy with the performance and light quality of the new streetlights,” Northeast continued.
The next step is to implement smart technology, which might increase the initial 60% savings, on energy and maintenance, by an additional 20-30% energy savings.