Cities of the world now shine brighter than the stars above them. Streets are lined with lamps that spread their light all across the people and creatures of the night. No cityscape is complete without the addition of streetlights. At the same time, however, as the world lives through the nighttime, cities pay the bills for this with the municipal budget. The key is to find a balance between the cost and the benefit of operating LED street lights.
To understand why we need to optimize our resources in providing light through LED street lights on the roads, we need to understand just how far street lighting goes. The International Energy Agency has estimated the need for lighting to increase by eighty percent by 2030, in comparison to what the demand was in 2005. This is in light of people’s hours of activity increasing and creeping into the wee hours of the light. But then the question becomes if today’s nightly revelries will be sustainable to leave a world inhabitable for the future generations?
This where LED street lights make their entry. What we are about to present for you is a guide that will show how you can cut down on operating costs of LED street lights.
Step 1: Switch to LED Street Lights
It becomes our dual mission, then, to save our night lives and our environment. Municipalities worry about budgets. Environmentalists worry about energy consumption. The people worry about everything. It is time to find the way to make our streets glow without taking the light away from future generations. One way to achieve this is through the installation of LED road lamps.
LED street light fixtures consume half as much energy as traditional lights. Their emission of light is almost as much or even more than traditional lights. This makes them the better option for all your lighting needs, regardless of where they may be needed. These lights can be installed with LED parking lot light fixtures or by the street sides to assist people who are living through the night. It is not only the preservation of nighttime entertainment and dining that we are aiming at. Installation of street lights has advantages for everyone. Studies have yielded results that confirm that street lights will cut down on crime rates by as much as twenty percent. Traffic accidents can be reduced by up to thirty five percent due to the presence of street lights.
Step 2: Estimate the Cost Against the Benefit
The cost for the installation of LED street light lamps is much less than conventional lighting. On an average, the per unit cost of LED road lamp is $3.37 per month. Not only do LED lights have a lower cost for installation, but they also last longer. The average lifetime of a conventional street lamp bulb, ballasts, and photocells is four to five years. In comparison, the lifetime of an LED street light bulb, ballasts, and photocells is almost twice at ten to twenty years. If you want to see how much this saves, let us take a look at what happens over a fifteen-year period where only twenty NYS municipalities switch to LED lights. In terms of energy, we will save over eighty million kWh. In terms of money, we save over $6.5 million. This makes conversion to LED lights quite the bargain. This is only in terms of installation and replacement costs, not to mention the drastic difference this will make in the operating costs of street lighting.
Step 3: Choose the Correct LED Street Lights
LED street lights in themselves are revolutionary. Technologies that make LED illuminous and efficient in saving energy are improving every day. In particular, let us take a look at the example presented by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology researcher. They have improved upon the design of existing LEDs. If you look past the jargon, in their model of LEDs, light provision is even more efficient and widespread. Michael Heidinger of KIT’s Light Technology Institute has made these innovations upon the design.
It might take a minute to follow these changes, but let us take a look at what they are and why they are good for us. Heidinger identified the faults and flaws of the current design and improved upon them. He improved the interconnectivity between the individual LEDs so that aging and worn out LEDs do not mean that the overall section does not come tumbling down if a single diode falls out. This sort of independence makes LEDs even more sustainable in their use than ever before.
Another thing Heidinger’s technology improves is the heat distribution of the lamp. His design has made LEDs produce less heat overall, which prevents overheating that blows up LED lamps. His design also meets the highest safety standards, Heidinger talks about his technology saying, His designs feature LEDs that are smaller in size so that they may appear like panel radiators from far away, but the glare they produce is smaller than that of LEDs that are currently in use and boast high performance. The most important feature of this new design is the easy integrations that can be made into commercial LED outdoor street lighting. He has achieved this by creating a design of LED street light fixtures that boast the most important features: no glare, high safety, and optimized costs.
Step 4: Forecast the Benefits of LED Street Lights
If you are still wondering why LEDs, take a look at their scope of impact. They are not only going to reduce costs for local authorities; their effects are much more far-reaching. LED street lights boast an efficiency of almost forty to sixty percent more than their conventional lighting counterparts. The use of LED fixtures on roads and LED parking lot light fixtures allows you to make provision of improved lighting at reduced energy consumption. However, when it comes to weighing the pros against the cons, you will find that you can achieve all this at a lower cost than that of using conventional means of lighting.
Let us put some numbers to our claims. If we replace the conventional street lighting present currently in the US with commercial LED outdoor street lighting fixtures, we will be saving up to six billion US dollars every year. In terms of energy conservation and how it helps the environment, replacement of lights and installation of LED lights will have the same effect if we removed almost nine million cars from the road for the duration of an entire year.
With greater lifetimes and sturdier technology, the running and maintenance cost will also be lowered. The number attached to this fact is that the average lifetime of the LED fixtures will almost four times as a long as those of conventional lighting.
Imagine the potential for municipal budgets if they are relieved of the installation, operating, and maintenance costs of a public good such as the street lighting fixtures. Reduced utility bills will give the local authorities room to allocate finances from their budgets to merit goods that are otherwise ignored.
If you are thinking how much possible could this save, think of Quezon City, Philippines. Tradition HPS street lighting in Quezon City made up to sixty five percent total electricity costs that the city pays. In proportion to the city’s entire budget, street lighting took up to five percent of the entire budget. A similar example can be found in India. Conventional street lighting leeches almost five to ten percent of local authority’s budgets in larger city while it can reach a staggering twenty percent in cities that are smaller. In an article written for Business Today, Ved Prakash Mahendru explores the results of Indian cities switching to LED lights. He sets forth the example of the city of Delhi that amounts at a power consumption of millions of rupees with hundreds of thousands of street lights that could be replaced with LED outdoor street lighting since currently they are mostly high-pressure sodium-vapour (HPS) street lights. With the active hours of outdoor street lamps being almost twelve hours, the use of LED street lamps will provide the city with lumens of light that are higher than those of traditional lights. In addition to the reduced energy consumption, the higher lumens lead to better luminosity that allows the light from LEDs to be used on crucial road areas without wastage. He estimates the savings on the electricity bill to be almost sixty percent.
The money saved from street lighting expenses can be allocated to goods that promote social welfare. It can be used to promote sanitation and free education and healthcare. The use of the budding technology can help change every life that lives within the city.
Step 5: Make the Leap
Ultimately, the switch to LED street light fixtures presents itself as a “low-hanging fruit”. It is very easy to pick, so why are cities not making the switch? The reason behind the inaction may lie in the hurdles caused by financial and institutional restraints. The long-term benefit outweighs all the costs involved by more than twice as much, this much has been established. The capital that is required to get this project started, on the other hand, may not be that simple to achieve. The fitting of LED street lights in the place of conventional street lamps is relatively simple. However, first it requires hefty capital costs. If LED street lights are unsubsidized, the installation charges can go up to almost twice or four times as much as those of high-pressure sodium-vapour (HPS) street lights. The policies that impact the total capital cost of installing LED street lights depend on the taxes imposed, the exchange rates, and whether the lights can be manufactures locally or not as well as the overall scale of the LED street light program. If governments face low budget problems, they may not be able to afford the start-up cost of an LED program. This is especially true in developing countries, but the savings they make in the long run will allow even small countries and cities capable of operating street lighting with reduced operating costs.
What you need to take away from this guide is that commercial LED street lights will entail reduction in costs over a longer lifetime in comparison to traditional lighting. When you make the move to LED outdoor street lighting and LED parking lot light fixtures, you will be able to save billions of dollars in the matter of years. The costs that LED street lights reduce include the cost of repairs and replacements due to their supreme technology and longer lifetimes.