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LED street lights save millions each year

By Adrian Bishop - 10 May 2012 19:16:22 GMT
LED street lights save millions each year

GE's Evolve LED Roadway, Las Vegas; Credit GE

LED street lighting is saving millions of dollars each year on town and city electricity bills in America and further afield. Around 41,000 GE Evolve LED street lights being installed in Las Vegas are set to save the city almost $2.7 million (£1.6 million) each year in electricity bills and reduced maintenance costs.

At the other end of the scale, 600 LED lights in Superior, Nebraska, which has a population of just 2,000, has saved $20,000 (£12,370) a year over previous bills.

The energy-efficient LED lights, seen at LIGHTFAIR International 2012, are claimed to half the cost of normal High-Intensity Discharge lights.

Following the switch, Las Vegas will reduce its power usage by 20 million kilowatt hours (kWh) from 2013. In the last two years, Superior has saved over 200,000 kWh a year.

A panel at LIGHTFAIR International, the world's largest lighting trade show that is being held in Las Vegas, outlined the savings that could be made from LED street lights.

GE Lighting's global LED fixture product manager, outdoor applications, Tim Miller, who was on the panel, says, "We're seeing a rapid adoption of LED systems for roadways across the globe. Cities are realizing very real energy and maintenance savings, and if they haven't already adopted LEDs, many towns are in the process of testing them and researching the possibility of their use."

The savings are not just confined to America. Evolve LED Roadway lights are being used in China, Spain, Mexico and many other countries. In Sydney, Australia, more than 6,400 lights are being installed, bringing a significant annual saving of $850,000 (£525,000).

It is estimated that there are around 52 million streetlights in the USA with just one percent made up of LED lights, so there is still big scope for large savings.

GE's LED lighting, which is made in North Carolina, was chosen as a finalist of the Las Vegas Street Lighting Project and took part in a trial in March last year. After a month it won a contract to replace 6,600 mercury vapour and High Pressure Sodium lights.

A further 35,000 GE Evolve LED lights are being installed from spring 2012, which will bring the total to over 80 percent of Las Vegas streetlights.

The move will save more than 12,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, which is the same as carbon emissions from 2,300 cars or planting more than 3,200 acres of trees.

Superior carried out side-by-side testing of 13 lighting system for a fortnight, calculating light output, energy usage and cost. GE's Evolve LED Roadway proved a clear winner.

In 2009, Superior installed 600 GE Evolve LED fixtures, which saved around $9,300 a year and 156 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the electrical generation of the streetlights.

GE Lighting aims to develop energy-efficient solutions for industry, councils and homes employing over 17,000 people in over 100 countries.

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