Are LEDs set to power the cities of the future?

13th November 2013
LEDs could soon be lighting the streets of Britain

LEDs are the future. There's no doubt about that. They are much more efficient than standard bulbs, shine brighter and need replacing much less often, but could you imagine walking the streets at night beneath the glow of a diode?
 
For residents of New York City in the US this is set to become a reality as it plans to replace some 250,000 streetlights with LEDs, making it one of the largest retrofitting projects the country has ever seen.
 
The plan announced by mayor Michael R Bloomberg and transport commissioner Jannette Sadik-Khan is intended to bring down the city's greenhouse gas emissions, helping to contribute to levels 30 per cent lower by 2017.
 
Ultimately, it will save taxpayers money and improve sustainability in conjunction. The benefits are clear – where the lights have already been switched on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn the savings are expected to be more than $70,000 and nearly 248,000 kilo-watt hours over the year.
 
That's just for one area too. Once the 250,000 bulb changes are complete it could save the city as much as $14 million a year through energy savings and cut backs in maintenance costs.
 
Could we soon be seeing something similar in British cities? Salford has already implemented a similar strategy. The city council realised that it had a problem – its street lighting stock was in poor condition and costs were rising around 15 per cent a year. Urban Vision came up with the invest-to-save solution of retrofitting existing lights with LEDs.
 
The pilot began in 2011 with 2,000 lights fitted across 300 street, leading to a projected saving of £80,000 a year and £1.6 million over the 20-year lifespan of the LEDs. This went well and a wider roll-out has been approved for 24,000 lights to be retrofitted and the installation is due to be finished by March 2014.
 
The success of the pilot could see the project being rolled out to other, bigger cities in the UK, emulating the scale of the New York City scheme, which is more than ten times the scale of Salford's.
 
If anything, this move should highlight the money-saving potential of LEDs, and if you are interested in buying these lights for your home then please have a look at the energy efficient products available in the store.

Posted by The EnerGenie

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