The world’s largest LED streetlight retrofit was recently completed by the City of Los Angeles — the enormous street light swap-out, one that saw the installation of 141,089 brand-new LED street lights, was finished up just towards the end of June.
Thanks to efforts such as this — and the policies that accompany/precede them — the LED market has changed considerably over the past couple of years, quickly changing from a market catering to speciality applications to one that’s more or less the new standard for lighting.
Los Angeles is certainly not alone in making the switch to LED street lighting. I’ve reported at this blog, for instance, about the many other California cities, big and small, that have done the same. In March of this year, the City of Las Vegas finished outfitting 42,000 street lights with LED fixtures. One month later, the City of Austin, Texas, announced plans to install 35,000 LED street lights. And, in December of last year, CPS Energy said it would install 20,000 LED street lights in San Antonio.
But, owing to its size and influence, Los Angeles, with its partners, the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), have done much to jump-start the market. Navigant (formerly Pike) Research recently predicted that shipments of LED street lights will increase from fewer than 3 million in 2012 to more than 17 million in 2020.
When you look at advantages of LED street lighting, this sharp rise/growth isn’t surprising. The City of Los Angeles, for example, has estimated that it will reduce its annual electric bill by at least $7 million dollars, with a further $2.5 million dollars saved as a result of reduced maintenance needs. According to Eric Woods of the Navigant Research blog, the LEDs that have been installed in Los Angeles use (on average) about 63% less electricity than the high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures that they have replaced, while also lasting much longer, and also being more pleasant to the human eye.
The second phase of Los Angeles’ LED replacement program will see the retrofit of about 70,000 decorative street lamps located throughout the city.