Climate change demands large-scale action to avoid the worst predicted impacts. New policies, products and services are urgently needed to deliver a low carbon economy that secures both continued growth and a safe climate. But the technologies already exist to massively reduce emissions. And LED lighting is a prime example of a proven technology that must be implemented at scale, as rapidly as possible. The Climate Group and Philips have called on every single city and utility around the world to schedule the switch of their street lighting to LED by 2025. The latest predictions for rising population growth, migration to cities and energy requirements cannot be met with current generation capabilities. Urgent investment is needed in low carbon generation technologies, smart grids and energy storage, as well as the parallel implementation of available energy efficient solutions.
The Case For LED Street Lighting
One of the most impactful and readily implementable options available to cities is the replacement of inefficient outdoor street lighting with LEDs. The latest energy efficient LED-based street lighting technologies are able to deliver energy savings of up 50-70%. With street lighting accounting for as much as 40% of a municipality’s electric utility bill, LEDs offer city managers immediate savings in terms of energy, maintenance and running costs. Availability of wireless connected-lighting technology can also provide city managers with full lighting asset control and performance monitoring, as well as facilitate the implementation of smart and adaptive city lighting and energy saving schemes. The lighting network can also play a key role in future smart city initiatives, such as linked sensor networks and data gathering to help co-ordinate other public services reliant on city lighting. There are now many compelling examples of successful large-scale LED rollout in cities, where dramatic energy savings have been delivered over extended periods.
Research estimates that 350 million street lights are predicted to be in place by 2025, and when combined with other high-power outdoor city and commercial lighting , with each unit having the potential for a ~50% increase in efficiency, the scale of the potential global energy savings opportunity is truly staggering.
Pioneering LED Street Lighting
The Climate Group has been driving pioneering LED street lighting projects since 2008, when we first committed to supporting the scale-up of LEDs. Then in 2012, we presented results from a two and half year global pilot program, reporting the outcome of tests with LED street lamps in 15 separate trials across 12 cities around the world including New York, London, Kolkata and Sydney. One of the key findings was that LEDs were confirmed as a mature and robust technology for street lighting, with reported energy savings of between 50-70%; this figure even rises to 80% when combined with smart controls.