We’ve been seeing an increase of LED lights being used in just about every industry recently. The Super Bowl, for one, had LED lights not only illuminate the playing field but also had LED lights mounted on poles to light up their flat panel TVs. The event’s parking lot area was also lit up by retrofitted LED outdoor lighting as well.
Currently, we’re now seeing a trend where LED lights are slowly but surely replacing 3 billion traditional screw based sockets. Homes are now seeing the emergence of the LED light (or light-emitting diode). This is mainly because LEDs use about 80% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and last longer, about 25 years longer.
There is no doubt that LED lights are going to be the most efficient go-to lighting fixture. We’ll definitely see them light up all our pathways, streets and highways in the future. These energy efficient lights will most likely be used for about 12 hours a day and will be able to help save operational costs along the way as well.
The Lighting Potential
It takes a lot of cash to light up roughly around 100 million outdoor lights in the United States. This is not only for the basic light your way to see where you’re going concept, but also for security purposes. To look at the numbers, the United States consumes about $10 billion worth of electricity to light outdoor lights every year. That’s an equivalent of six million homes consuming electricity. The power source used to light up these outdoor lights usually is coal based. Now, the main problem with this power source is that it is not eco-friendly. Coal based power plants emit tons of carbon dioxide which is the pollutant that contributes to climate change.
Now, because we’re talking about outdoor lights, the question is: Who’s paying for the usage? Basically, it’s you. Tax dollars pay for the usage of outdoor lights. The good news is current technological advancements has provided products such as LED outdoor lighting systems. Such systems can actually cut your city’s outdoor lighting electric bill by half or even more! Cities which are on a budget can actually switch over to LED outdoor lighting in order to save on operational costs. In progressing towards LED lights, your city will also be reducing its carbon footprint, thus helping out the environment as well.
Former President Obama has also seen the benefits of upgrading outdoor lighting when he issued the Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting. This challenge, taking the Department of Energy’s lead, validated the effectiveness of the LED light through demonstration projects. It also aims to develop guidelines for interested businesses and communities that are interested in getting LEDs into their system.
The Savings Potential
At present, there is only less than 5% of outdoor lights that are not LED light bulbs. So, you can see that the potential on savings is huge. According to a Department on Energy report, a total shift from traditional lighting to LED outdoor lighting can produce a $6 billion per year total savings. That also means that there will less carbon dioxide emission per year, 40 million metric tons to be exact.
Should more communities, garage owners and parking lot owners make the switch to LED lights, a huge reduction of pollutants can be seen and felt. They will also be saving more money and energy in the long run as well.
Yes, the initial cost for installing LED lights will be quite hefty. However, the overall savings from the usage of LED lights will help you get your investment back quickly. You’ll also contribute to the betterment of the environment by not emitting less pollutants to the environment. These reasons alone make LED light upgrades such an enticing solution.
We can definitely see a transition to a more energy efficient product in the future. Outdoor LED lighting has numerous benefits to tax payers. Communities can save a lot of money with LED lighting and also help the environment now and in the future. It’s a win- win situation for each and every one of us.