Outdoor lights have an important use that many of us take for granted. They keep us moving after the sun goes down, allowing us to to safely drive our cars, attend sporting events, walk down sidewalks, and countless other activities. However, all of this lighting uses electricity, which costs money and takes a huge portion out of the budgets of cities and town across the United States. Money they could be spending in other critical areas.
According to a blog post by Dan Utech, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate, cities spend close to $10 billion each year on outdoor lighting costs alone, which is enough to provide power to six million homes for one year. Streetlight systems can take up to 60 percent of a city’s electric utility bill.
For this reason, the White House is now working with mayors from across the U.S. to accelerate the adoption of high efficiency outdoor lighting in order to keep cities safely illuminated while also saving money for other uses. Last week, the White House launched the Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting, and tripled the goal of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings program, which has grown from upgrading 500,000 street lighting poles to 1.5 million. By upgrading to modern lighting technologies, local governments can earn substantial savings. In some cases, this upgrade could result in a savings of more than 50 percent on their outdoor lighting costs.
Of course, LED is one of the most efficient lighting technologies to implement in our cities. Rapid advancements in LED technology have allowed cities like New York and Los Angeles to implement LED street lighting, saving significantly in energy costs and driving carbon pollution reductions. Other towns and cities have already updated to LED, with many installing modern lighting control systems that bring energy savings as much as 70 percent.
I, Dr. Bulb, know the importance of updating to more energy-efficient lighting technologies. When the White House helps accelerate the adoption of these technologies, the entire country benefits from the savings and carbon reductions.