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  • LED street lights

    After seeing a couple of news specials on LED lighting in the past week or so i was wondering if the possibility of converting our streetlights into LED lights has ever been brought up. apparently there are a number of north American cities already doing this.

    The lights are better for the environment and last longer and are more durable than regular lights. Although they do cost a bit more,but in the next few years as demand for them raises the price should go down.

    Maybe we could have them at first only in the downtown core and then slowly spread outwards. I think it would be a good project for the city.
    be offended! figure out why later...

  • #2
    Re: LED street lights

    Originally posted by richardW
    After seeing a couple of news specials on LED lighting in the past week or so i was wondering if the possibility of converting our streetlights into LED lights has ever been brought up. apparently there are a number of north American cities already doing this.

    The lights are better for the environment and last longer and are more durable than regular lights. Although they do cost a bit more,but in the next few years as demand for them raises the price should go down.

    Maybe we could have them at first only in the downtown core and then slowly spread outwards. I think it would be a good project for the city.
    It will happen eventually. It only makes sense to move to the technology. Its a matter of cost.
    Where it will reach cost effectiveness first is in new installations.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: LED street lights

      Originally posted by DanC
      It will happen eventually. It only makes sense to move to the technology. Its a matter of cost.
      Where it will reach cost effectiveness first is in new installations.
      Is it possible to just replace as street lights wear out? I wonder if there is a standard economic life for our street lights (so many years per street, such that x street gets replaced at y time), or do we just replace them individually as they expire?

      I sometimes question how "environmental" something is, if we throw out existing resources that were manufactured. Existing street lights must contain quite a few chemicals that came from somewhere, and energy must have been used to process these resources into the existing street light state. Those factories building LED's must be using resources, energy, creating polution, also.

      One theory is that cost can be a good proxy for the measurement of resources. But if it were cost effective to replace the lights now, wouldn't it automatically be happening, easily financed by the projected electricity savings? Hopefully this will be the case in the next few years anyway, as technology continues to improve, and manufactuirng of such technology gears up on a bigger scale.

      I agree with you though, cost effectivness will probably be in new installations first, although "environmental marketing" (our new neighborhood is clean, per the LED, and similar) may speed up adoption even before it is cost, or total lifetime resource consumption, effective.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: LED street lights

        Originally posted by moahunter
        Originally posted by DanC
        It will happen eventually. It only makes sense to move to the technology. Its a matter of cost.
        Where it will reach cost effectiveness first is in new installations.
        Is it possible to just replace as street lights wear out? I wonder if there is a standard economic life for our street lights (so many years per street, such that x street gets replaced at y time), or do we just replace them individually as they expire?

        I always wonder at how "environmental" something is, if we throw out existing resources that were manufactured. Existing street lights must contain quite a few chemicals that came from somewhere, and energy must have been used to process those resources into the existing street light state.

        One theory is that cost can be a good of a proxy for the measurement of resources. But if it is cost effective to replace the lights now, wouldn't it automatically be happening? Hopefully that will be the case in the next few years anyway, as technology continues to improve, and manufactuirng of such technology gears up on a bigger scale.
        There are a few issues I can comment on without doing any reading into the subject.
        1) Availibility: Large scale production of white LEDs and the packaged "lamps" that would have to contain a large quantity of the above to provide an adequate amount of light are still uncommon. Demand may very well be outstripping supply in this area.
        2) Cost of Retrofit: All lighting solutions are not created equal. There will need to be removal and disposal of all the existing ballasts, lamps, reflectors, etc, that support the HPS and MH product currently in service.
        3) Climatic conditions: Electronics/Solid State Devices don't function very well at -30deg C. Would a heater be required at each location to guarantee cold weather functionality? If so, there goes a large sum of the net energy benefit.
        4) Retrofit as burnout of existing occurs: To my knowledge, the retrofit would be to pure white LEDs for street lamps. While the would be fine, when you start replacing intermittently within the HPS (yellow/orange) streetlights that occupy the majority of the City, you run into problems with peoples driving vision. Moving from white to yellow and different levels of illumination will present problems for Drivers and most likely would be seen as a safety concern. That basically limits retrofit to bulk replacement of stretches of roadway.

        So, a simple matter really isn't as simple as it seems. In the end though, the major driver will be the economics and the green push.
        If a City can lower power consumption to roadway lighting by over 50%, that certainly provides great incentive on the Green side.

        There are more complex issues that may play, such as how does a large reduction in lighting demand play into energy providers and demand on the power grid.
        Those however can be somewhat more political and infinitely more complex, because they typically don't register as technical issues.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: LED street lights

          Originally posted by DanC
          Those however can be somewhat more political and infinitely more complex, because they typically don't register as technical issues.
          I think you are right. Sometimes something gets a reputation as being "clean", so it is automatically assumed it will be, just because it uses less electricity. It is more complex than that though. I see that this technology will take over, but it may take over faster than it really "should", simply because of politics, rather than science / engineering.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: LED street lights

            Originally posted by moahunter
            Originally posted by DanC
            Those however can be somewhat more political and infinitely more complex, because they typically don't register as technical issues.
            I think you are right. Sometimes something gets a reputation as being "clean", so it is automatically assumed it will be, just because it uses less electricity. It is more complex than that though. I see that this technology will take over, but it may take over faster than it really "should", simply because of politics, rather than science / engineering.
            As with anything new its a combination of issues. However, on this one I still believe that technology remains the main driver. It is simply not yet ready to supply massive amounts of cheap, high quality, white LEDs. (They are the hardest, most expensive to produce)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: LED street lights

              Originally posted by DanC
              Originally posted by moahunter
              Originally posted by DanC
              Those however can be somewhat more political and infinitely more complex, because they typically don't register as technical issues.
              I think you are right. Sometimes something gets a reputation as being "clean", so it is automatically assumed it will be, just because it uses less electricity. It is more complex than that though. I see that this technology will take over, but it may take over faster than it really "should", simply because of politics, rather than science / engineering.
              As with anything new its a combination of issues. However, on this one I still believe that technology remains the main driver. It is simply not yet ready to supply massive amounts of cheap, high quality, white LEDs. (They are the hardest, most expensive to produce)
              while technology and efficiency are certainly part of the equation, the other part is grid performance and demand criteria. a power grid has to be sized to service peak demand. until such time as we can "store" electricity, reducing peak period demand criteria and usage is probably the most cost effective approach. those peaks are typically daytime summer hours, not winter nights. although street lights are a very "obvious" power consumption item, they may not be the best recipient of limited financial investment means.
              "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: LED street lights

                Originally posted by kcantor
                Originally posted by DanC
                Originally posted by moahunter
                Originally posted by DanC
                Those however can be somewhat more political and infinitely more complex, because they typically don't register as technical issues.
                I think you are right. Sometimes something gets a reputation as being "clean", so it is automatically assumed it will be, just because it uses less electricity. It is more complex than that though. I see that this technology will take over, but it may take over faster than it really "should", simply because of politics, rather than science / engineering.
                As with anything new its a combination of issues. However, on this one I still believe that technology remains the main driver. It is simply not yet ready to supply massive amounts of cheap, high quality, white LEDs. (They are the hardest, most expensive to produce)
                while technology and efficiency are certainly part of the equation, the other part is grid performance and demand criteria. a power grid has to be sized to service peak demand. until such time as we can "store" electricity, reducing peak period demand criteria and usage is probably the most cost effective approach. those peaks are typically daytime summer hours, not winter nights. although street lights are a very "obvious" power consumption item, they may not be the best recipient of limited financial investment means.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Article from "Thomas. Net Industrial Newsroom"
                  http://news.thomasnet.com/fullstory/30663
                  Excerpt from above:
                  The M400 CobraHead-Styled Streetlight is priced at $410.00 for the LED lamp and $725.00 for the complete assembly. Ask for datasheet #151a. For additional information, contact LEDtronics toll free at 1-800-579-4875, telephone 310-534-1505, fax at 310-534-1424 or mail at LEDtronics Inc., 23105 Kashiwa Court, Torrance, CA 90505. Visit our website at www.ledtronics.com.

                  http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/M250/default.asp

                  http://www.ledtronics.com/ds/SLT002/default.asp
                  Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: LED street lights

                    Originally posted by kcantor
                    while technology and efficiency are certainly part of the equation, the other part is grid performance and demand criteria. a power grid has to be sized to service peak demand. until such time as we can "store" electricity, reducing peak period demand criteria and usage is probably the most cost effective approach. those peaks are typically daytime summer hours, not winter nights. although street lights are a very "obvious" power consumption item, they may not be the best recipient of limited financial investment means.
                    If we have to size for summer daytime hours anyway, this leaves nights and winter with overcapacity. We might not be able to store it, but maybe we can think of ways to use it.

                    Perhaps we'd get a better economic case and a better conservation scenario by ignoring the street lights for now and all start driving electric cars instead. These we could recharge overnight, using the overnight surplus capacity, and displace the use of gasoline. Tesla Roadster anyone? www.teslamotors.com

                    Or, on a smaller scale, set the timers on your appliances for things like laundry and dishes. I'd love to see time-of-use metering.

                    That being said, I do like the LED stuff, and will probably start buying for the home over the next year, but only to replace the Compact Fluorescents when they start failing.
                    City Centre Airport is to the sky as False Creek is to the ocean.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      LED can be seen well, however they don't provide a lot of light. In other words, they don't illuminate very well, and probably wouldn't be good for lighting our roads. What they are good for is traffic lights, and warning llights. On a side note, I really wish we would go back to white street lights!!!!!
                      Mayor Mandel is a immature childish man

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Wrecker
                        LED can be seen well, however they don't provide a lot of light. In other words, they don't illuminate very well, and probably wouldn't be good for lighting our roads.
                        Nope.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: LED street lights

                          Originally posted by lux
                          Originally posted by kcantor
                          while technology and efficiency are certainly part of the equation, the other part is grid performance and demand criteria. a power grid has to be sized to service peak demand. until such time as we can "store" electricity, reducing peak period demand criteria and usage is probably the most cost effective approach. those peaks are typically daytime summer hours, not winter nights. although street lights are a very "obvious" power consumption item, they may not be the best recipient of limited financial investment means.
                          If we have to size for summer daytime hours anyway, this leaves nights and winter with overcapacity. We might not be able to store it, but maybe we can think of ways to use it.

                          Perhaps we'd get a better economic case and a better conservation scenario by ignoring the street lights for now and all start driving electric cars instead. These we could recharge overnight, using the overnight surplus capacity, and displace the use of gasoline. Tesla Roadster anyone? www.teslamotors.com

                          Or, on a smaller scale, set the timers on your appliances for things like laundry and dishes. I'd love to see time-of-use metering.

                          That being said, I do like the LED stuff, and will probably start buying for the home over the next year, but only to replace the Compact Fluorescents when they start failing.
                          in our climate, the tesla may be a little "daring" on days (months ) like today and a bit more challenging when grocery shopping as it makes a smart car look cavernous. i think i'll hold out for a fisker but it's just a drawing for another two years even if does look like a grown up bmw z4 coupe ( http://www.fiskerautomotive.com/ ).

                          as for the home led's, not only are they potentially more efficient, they don't contain the mercury and heavy metals present in the compact flourescents.
                          "If you did not want much, there was plenty." Harper Lee

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Currently LEDs don't provide the same level of luminous efficacy (current R&D work is focusing on 150lm/W) as the high and low pressure sodium lights we're currently using (up to 200lm/W), and even with the forecast improvements, it's still years till you'll get the same amount of light per watt from a LED array than from sodium, and even then the benefit of lower power consumption will need to be weighed with all of the other factors. Also keep in mind that the City is not (directly) responsible for the traffic & street lights in Edmonton; it's part of EPCORs portfolio. That being said, 150lm/W is still higher than the current darling of energy efficiency, the CFL, at about 100lm/w, while providing the sort of white light we need for home/indoor use.

                            Fun fact of the day: When the retrofitting of LEDs into the traffic signals was started a few years ago by EPCOR, the more expensive LED arrays were only used in the red and green lights, the yellow/amber staying good ol' incandescent. The usage cycle for the yellow lights dictated that it was not cost-effective to migrate them to LED alongside the green and red lights.
                            Giving less of a damn than ever… Can't laugh at the ignorant if you ignore them!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Clever that! ^
                              Still waiting for the Arlington site to be reborn .......

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