Blogs, Energy Efficiency

A Bright Idea: LED Street Lights

Cities across the United States are saving energy and costs by installing light-emitting diode (LED) street lights. LEDs not only consume less power for the same amount of luminance compared to traditional lighting, but they also last longer.

There are many LED street lighting pilot projects taking place, including in my former home of Los Angeles, California. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has partnered with the Clinton Climate Initiative to undertake the largest green street lighting program in history. According to the Bureau of Street Lighting website, as of February 9 the city had replaced 62,064 traditional light fixtures with LED lights, going from 10,740 kilowatts down to 4,205 kilowatts for 60.8 percent energy savings, or 26,664 megawatt hours. The program has also reduced carbon emissions by 15,766 metric tons and saved $2,357,567 in energy costs.  The city expects annually to save $10 million, save energy by 40% and reduce carbon emissions by approximately 40,500 tons.

Arlington, Virginia is where I currently reside and this forward-looking county across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. is installing LED street lights as well. Arlington’s project is funded by the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program and local capital funds. In 2010 the county spent $1.5 million to replace 1,800 existing streetlights with LED fixtures. Arlington plans to replace all its street lights with LED technology, a move that will save the county $1 million per year.

LED street lights are a smart and efficient way for cities to save money, save energy and save the environment. Expect to see many LED street lights in cities across America and the world.