Aug 6, 2015

Whitepaper: LEDs: Coming Soon to a Street Light Near You

Category: Illumination

LEDs have been taking to the streets since the 1990s, when cities throughout the U.S. and Europe began replacing incandescent-based traffic lights with highly energy-efficient solid state fixtures. Today’s power LEDs are poised to cross the next municipal frontier and tackle the challenge of street lighting. If the mass adoption solid state traffic signals is any indication, high pressure sodium, and high intensity discharge (mercury vapor) street lamps may soon lose their luster as the dominant sources of road and sidewalk illumination.

The first LED street light installations were already being tested around the world, and in some cases implemented, in China, North America and Europe, as governments, municipalities and utilities strive to replicate the energy and maintenance elsewhere within their borders.

With a 10- to 15-year lifetime that is at least triple that of current technologies, the maintenance advantages alone offer a street-smart argument for transitioning to LED-based systems. When we consider the design flexibility and sustainability afforded by LED-based systems, the case for solid-state street lighting is compelling. LED solutions offer energy savings of as much as 50%, other ‘green’ features are mercury-free construction, and reduced light pollution made possible by the ability to precisely control light direction through LED placement and optics optimization.