LED Streetlighting is Low Carbon Lighting
Have you noticed that some of the lighting around Stratford’s streets at night has undergone a colour shift? That’s because Toshiba International, a world leader in lighting, and the City of Stratford have agreed on a pilot project that integrates LED (light emitting diode) streetlights. Stratford’s city-owned electrical utility, Festival Hydro, is operating the trial in three locations. The longer term potential is to roll out the LED units across the city – perhaps as many as 4,000 lights.
The streetlight fixtures, called luminaires in the business, are fitted with LED units, which offer power savings in the range of 70-95% vis the orange-hued sodium units to which we’ve all grown accustomed. They also have an rated service life of 20 years (but likely much longer) and burn out slowly rather than suddenly blinking out. So less power consumption, less carbon impact and lower maintenance costs.
Because they’re a relatively new technology, the bulbs are more expensive, but Toshiba is supplying them as they refine the technology and supporting applications for widespread use.
The initial flight of LED luminaires are installed around City Hall, Railway Avenue just off Downie Street headed toward the train station, and out by the SERC recreation centre.
The City’s Rhyzome Networks, is also in the mix to investigate integrating the lights via the City’s Wi-Fi/optical fibre network.
How big a deal is this?
Piloting 15 separate schemes in 12 cities across the globe — including New York, London and Kolkata — the company found that in some cases, LED technology accounted for an 85 percent reduction in energy costs.
The LED lighting systems under trial indicated that those with a lifespan range of 50,000 – 100,000 hours provided the best return on investment for lighting urban areas and cutting costs. Furthermore, the rate of failure after providing 6,000 hours of lighting was far lower than traditional lights — at only one percent.
The programme also indicates that citizens of pilot cities prefer LED lighting, citing social and environmental benefits. In Kolkata, London, Sydney and Toronto, between 68 and 90 percent of respondents indicated that they approved of city-wide LED rollouts.