There has been continual and dramatic improvement in energy efficient traffic and street lighting products offered in recent years, and by converting to newer systems when the time comes a city can greatly reduce energy bills and also have a positive impact on public safety.
According to the experts, such technological advances can mean energy reduction of 40-90 percent when compared to the efficiency of many existing, antiquated systems.
With about two percent of the nation's electricity now used to illuminate streets and highways, the potential for meaningful carbon reductions - not to mention money saved - is promising for all cities regardless of size.
As much as 40 percent of a city's electricity spending can be traced to street lighting, so significant long-term savings can occur by installing more modern systems.
By installing LED (light-emitting diode) lighting for streets and traffic signals, cities can save greatly as LED lighting uses as much as 90 percent less energy than incandescent lights, and can often last 5-10 times longer, resulting in significantly reduced maintenance and usage costs over time.
On top of those savings, when an incandescent filament burns out, the entire light ceases to operate which is more dangerous for motorists. LED lights do not burn out all at once. They are made of multiple clusters of diodes so while an individual diode may burn out, the entire system continues to operate.
We encourage cities to work with their electricity supplier and together stay abreast of such technological advances and incorporate them whenever possible or necessary. We also totally agree that, while up-front costs may be higher, utilizing the cost and energy savings of installing more modern lighting systems pays big dividends over the long haul.