Making Cities Bright: Transitioning from Traditional to LED Street Lamps
LEDs are known the world over for their cost effectiveness, energy saving and brightness. A single LED bulb used in a standard socket (when paired with a retrofit kit), can reduce the amount of energy consumed while still producing brighter, whiter light without expelling heat into the air. LEDs consume 80% less energy but that energy is immediately used to produce 80% more light than traditional halogen lamps.
Because LEDs save money, last years longer and are eco-friendly, many cities throughout the world are making serious infrastructure changes—they’re replacing their old street lamps with LED retrofits.
One such city, Los Angeles in California USA, was one of the first major cities in the US to undergo such a complicated overhaul. In 2013, LA workmen replaced more than 141,089 high-pressure sodium street lights which give off a distinctive yellow hue with new, blue-tinted LED street lamps. While it might not seem like a big deal the changes will impact at least one local industry – film making. Hollywood, the world’s mecca for blockbuster films, is only slightly enamored of its city. Many of the films shot in LA are filmed there because of the grittiness of the nighttime cityscape. The yellow tinged streets are easily recognizable in most films, such as Collateral, starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx.
The new lights will give the city a whole new look when filmed using digital cameras, which is a topic of contention between old school filmmakers and the new breed of movie makers hatching from film school.
Los Angeles was the first, but it won’t be the last. Because LEDs have proven to be a massive money-saving investment, other US cities such as New York have undergone the same transition—from halogen to LEDs. New York replaced more than 250,000 street lamps and have gone on to save $6 million in energy costs and $8 million in maintenance per year.
The US isn’t the only country experimenting with LEDs; the Hounslow Council in Chiswick spent millions of pounds in 2013 to replace their street lamps with LEDs. LED street lamps provide more light without the usual light pollution the yellow-hued lamps produced. While the initial investment can cost a city a large upfront sum, they can save 40% to 60% a year on their energy consumption costs. When the city saves money on energy costs, those savings can be passed on to the taxpaying resident. Also, LEDs, as eco-friendly lighting options can help a city become a more “green” city, which benefits more than just citizens.
If you’d like to learn more about how your city can save money, brighten its streets and help save the environment, contact the LED lighting experts at LightRabbit where LEDs and lighting retrofits are our speciality.
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