LED street lighting is an innovation that is here to stay. From its limited use when it was introduced less than a century ago, it now finds use in an ever increasing range of applications. Television remotes, vehicle indicators, aircraft landing lights, fairy lights are just some of the areas that LED lights have edged their way into. There is not a shade of doubt about the fact that they are long-lasting, environmentally-friendly and energy efficient in comparison to traditional sodium lamps.
However, what is strange is that very few governments have actually considered switching to LED street lighting. Countries such as US (See The Clinton Foundation “Greening Our Planet, One Bulb at a Time” for more about US initiatives), Canada and the UK have awoken to the advantages of this alternate light source. So why is it that a large number of governments are reluctant for a complete shift to LED despite its very evident positives?
LED Street Lights v/s Sodium Street Lamps
Sodium street lamps tend to emit light in every direction. This creates two specific issues. Firstly, they are high-glare which hampers visibility for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. Secondly, they lead to light pollution. Larger metropolises are already struggling with dealing with other pollutants and sodium lights only add to the problem.
In comparison, LED lights have distinct advantages. With these, the light projects straight out to the road. This improves visibility immensely as direct projection leads to a reduced glare and the resultant light is brighter and clearer. In effect, LED lighting leads to safer road conditions at night. With LED lights there is no warming up period and they provide instant illumination.
Other Benefits Of LED Lights
LED lights are energy efficient and durable. They emit double the output for the same power-consumption and can last for up to 60,000 hours. This means that even if they are used for an average of ten hours a day, they can last for up to 16 years. This makes them 5-times more long-lasting than conventional sodium street lamps.
Why the delay?
One of the primary reasons why municipalities are so snail-paced with taking a decision about switching to LED lighting is the high installation costs. The initial investment is a deterrent. However, this is one hurdle that governments will have to overcome and use some foresight. The long-term benefits should be weighed against the initial investment, irrespective of how high it may seem. Bath, in England is an experiment in time. LED lights were installed here and the conclusion that was reached was that it would be possible to recover the initial installation costs within eight years.
The only question now is, is this time-frame worth the cost or is it not really a cost-effective option after all? What must be kept topmost in the mind is that the safety, environment friendliness and energy-efficiency factors are definitely worth a second consideration. After all, isn’t technology meant to catapult you into a brighter tomorrow?
This article has been produced on behalf of Ecoled, a British company designing and manufacturing exceptional LED lighting products such as LED downlights (http://www.ecoledlight.co.uk/led-downlights.asp).