LED street lights a bright idea for communities

Studies have shown that as much as 40 percent of municipality’s total energy costs come from streetlights.

Anyone who is living a green lifestyle is likely inclined to turn off lights whenever they leave a room or building, but leaving some lights on is unavoidable. Street lights are often left on from the early evening until the sun rises the following morning. Roadways all over the country are lined with the massive light fixtures and, without question, consume an enormous volume of energy each night. 

As a matter of fact, studies have shown that as much as 40 percent of municipality's total energy costs come from streetlights. With so many advances in lighting technology, it's a wonder why more cities haven't switch their street lights to more energy efficient alternatives. Fortunately, that seems to be a trend that some communities are following.

With help from one energy company, two Northern California cities – Dublin and Livermore – have replaced their streetlights with LED bulbs that use half as much power and require far less maintenance.

"LED lighting is the biggest advance in lighting since Thomas Edison showed off his bulb in 1879," Bridgelux CEO Bill Watkins said in a statement. "But, LEDs and solid-state lighting represent more than just a technical advance. They will usher in new business models and capabilities for running our homes, businesses and cities. Lights are going to become more than just something you screw into a socket."

Today, another company announced that it has partnered with Puerto Rico to replace roughly 4,000 high-pressure sodium 100 and 150 watt street lights with a new model of LED solution that is expected to reduce energy expenditures by 50 percent, according to a press release. Additionally, the bulbs won't need to be changed nearly as much as the previous lights.

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