LED Street Lights: Lighting Up a Block Near You

LED lighting technology is a fast-evolving industry, with advances being made year after year. LEDs are everywhere we look now! City busses use them to show customers the bus’s destination, police cars use them as their flashing warning lights and many cities use LED traffic signals on every street corner. Given the energy efficiency of these lights, it makes sense that cities are using investing money in this advancing technology. LED lights last between 50,000 and 100,000 hours, versus fluorescent lights which last around 10,000 hours and incandescents which only last for 1,000 hours.

New York City, once a big, polluted mess, in recent years has changed. From green cabs, to a plastic bag tax, LEED-certified scrapers, car-free zones and an LED New Years Eve ball – you might even call it the "Green Apple!" In the coming year, NYC could be taking another step in the right direction with the proposed installation of LED street lights. In the coming year the city will test these lights in a select area and if successful, they will gradually replace all of the city’s 300,000 street lights.

According to Inhabitat.com, New York City’s Department of Transportation is working with the Office for Visual Interaction to overhaul the current street lamp design and come up with something new. The goal is that these new lamps will reduce the city’s power usage anywhere between 25 and 30 percent. The lamps are also expected to last from 50,000 to 70,000 hours, compared to the existing high-pressure sodium lights that only last around 24,000 hours.

Another benefit to these newly designed lamps is the multiple light lenses used to illuminate both the street and sidewalk around it. Each lamp will have at least 2 separate light sources pointed in different directions, helping to create safer nighttime street conditions. According to Inhabitat, they are only testing 6 street lamps to start. Cross your fingers that this little experiment works. It would be great if other major cities across the country followed suit and implemented a similar program.

As previously mentioned, LED technology is constantly advancing and slowly creeping its way into more residential applications. LED Christmas lights are extremely popular during the holiday season and for good reason! Not only do they last longer than standard Christmas lights, but they are also cooler burning! This is another reason why residential LED lighting would come in handy! Standard incandescent bulbs emit 98 percent of their energy as heat which is why they are so hot to the touch! With the way things are progressing with LEDs, we’re certainly looking at a brighter future!

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