LED street lighting would halve energy use


Friday, 16 December, 2016

The street lighting, smart control and energy industries have united for the release of a major report that demonstrates the massive economic, environmental and public safety benefits of switching to LED street lighting.

In Australia, councils spend about $400 million each year on street lighting. But many street lights still use mercury vapour technology, which is both inefficient and contains toxic chemicals. Only 10% of street lights in Australia have been changed over to LEDs, and almost none have been installed with smart controls.

Now, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia (IPWEA) has put together the Street Lighting and Smart Controls (SLSC) Programme Roadmap, which makes 15 recommendations to fast-track Australia’s changeover to LED street lighting. It was compiled in consultation with the Department of the Environment and Energy; state, territory and local governments; the Australian Local Government Association; Lighting Council Australia; Energy Networks Australia; major lighting and smart controls companies; utilities; and road authorities.

The roadmap’s modelling shows that if every street light in Australia were changed over to LEDs, the energy used to power those lights and the greenhouse gas emissions produced would be halved. With the addition of smart controls — enabling ‘smart city’ functions such as remote monitoring and lights that adjust light levels at different times of the night or when they sense motion — this figure could be as high as 72%.

The roadmap finds that changing over to smart-controlled LEDs would reduce councils’ street lighting costs by 25%. In addition, international studies have indicated that the high-quality white light produced by LEDs may have an important role to play in reducing the fear of crime and in reducing road accidents.

IPWEA CEO Robert Fuller said Australia cannot afford to ignore the opportunity to provide communities with better, safer, cheaper and more efficient street lighting.

“All of industry, including peak industry associations, have worked collaboratively with all three tiers of government to produce this roadmap,” he said.

To read the roadmap, and for more information on the SLSC Programme, visit www.slsc.org.au/slsc/slsc-programme/slsc-roadmap.

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