Buenos Aires is about to undergo an enormous streetlamp retrofit — 125,000 outdated streetlamp bulbs will be replaced with new, energy-efficient LED bulbs provided by corporate giant Philips. The new LEDs are expected to reduce the Argentinean city’s energy use by as much as 50% — and thus notably reduce air pollution and CO2 emissions as well.
The 13-million-person-strong city awarded the contract for the enormous LED retrofit to Philips as the result of a recent public bidding process. The new LEDs from Philips — in addition to greatly reducing energy use (and lasting much longer) — provide a number of notable improvements over the lighting system that they’re replacing, including: improved visibility, reduced crime, and improved color perception.
Buenos Aires in Argentina is the second biggest city in South-America, with about 13 million people. To light up the city at night requires over 125,000 street lamps. As you can imagine, that uses a lot of energy, and costs a lot of money (both for the energy and maintenance when the lamps need to be replaced). But the city has decided to tackle this problem in a way that should save energy, and thus reduce pollution, make neighborhoods safer at night, and reduce maintenance expenses.
It’s estimated that if cities around the world made a switch to LED tech like Buenos Aires, savings would add up to €130 billion ($180 billion) in reduced energy costs each year. It would also prevent 670 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere each year. Not bad for streetlamps!
Large LED streetlight retrofits are becoming increasingly common in some parts of the world (note the recent world record for one in Los Angeles). Not really all that surprising when you consider how huge the cost savings can be, and the fact that many local governments are now on the lookout for means of reducing their energy bills, as energy costs have been rising notably in much of the world in recent years.
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