In 2009, the city of Los Angeles, California dove head first into the LED lighting trend. The city replaced 140,000 street lights with light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures. According to Pike Research street lighting can account for up to 40% of a city’s electricity bill, and that without counting maintenance costs. Now, four years later, the city is showing off the benefits of switching to LED street lights.
I, Dr. Bulb, am a huge advocate of the cost savings and energy efficiency of LED lighting. Nothing brightens my day more than seeing a city save money using lights such as LED bollards, LED wall packs and LED street lights. I am proud of L.A. for getting on board with the LED lighting trend so early. They have posted an incredible $5,325,793 in annual electricity savings. The overall project will have a payback period of only seven years, so the city will enjoy profitable savings as early as 2016.
LED lights are much more durable than the high pressure sodium units they frequently replace. Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States; this means a lot of street lights and a lot of street light maintenance. Before the LED project, L.A. logged 70,000 street light repair cases. In 2012 that number fell to 46,300, resulting in a savings of $2.5 million annually on maintenance costs. Maybe Los Angeles could use the extra money to pull the Lakers out of their slump… but that’s a topic for another blogger.
Allow Dr. Bulb to school you on how LED lighting saved Los Angeles so much money. LEDs last up to ten times longer than compact fluorescents and much longer than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are directional, meaning that you can control where the light goes and light is not wasted. Other forms of lamps splash light in all directions, wasting energy where it is not needed. LEDs do not contain easily breakable parts found in other types of lights, such as the filament. This reduces maintenance costs and makes LEDs resistant to wear and tear. LEDs produce very low heat and are produced with no mercury, making them a safe and easily disposable option.
My hat is off to Los Angeles for setting an example for the rest of the nation. It saved and will continue saving the city money, and since the city’s lighting has improved, there has even been a correlation with less crime. The amount of vehicle theft decreased by 13.6%, burglary by 7.82% and vandalism by 10.9% according to 2009-2011 crime statistics. Read more about Los Angeles’ LED lighting success here. And advocate that your city start using LED lighting today!