New York City Is Replacing Its 250,000 Street Lights With LEDs

NYC Is Replacing Its 250,000 Street Lights with LEDs

In recent years, we've watched with wonder as boring old yellow halogen car headlights have been replaced with futuristic, Tron-like LEDs. Now, that transition is about to take place on the city scale, as New York City prepares to replace its street lamps -- all 250,000 of them -- with LEDs.

Mayor Bloomberg announced the massive project on Thursday, pointing out straight away that the shift to LEDs would save the city $US6 million in energy costs and $US8 million in maintenance -- that's $US14 million total, maths whizzes -- every year. That's not even counting the long-term environmental effects of the energy conservation. With the announcement, Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan was ready with the puns: "Using LEDs for street lighting is more than just a bright idea, it's a necessity for sustainable cities to operate more efficiently while also delivering clearer, better quality light for New Yorkers." While testing has been underway for years, the transition should be complete by 2017.

Indeed, New York is not the only city to take this more sustainable route. Earlier this year, Los Angeles completed the first phase of the world's largest LED street light replacement project to date, though New York's 250,000 will eclipse that figure. Smaller cities like St Paul and even Las Vegas have also made the transition and saved taxpayers millions of dollars.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the Netherlands is experimenting with getting rid of street lights altogether in favour of crazy futuristic glow-in-the-dark road paint that also responds to extreme weather. It's even more futuristic when you consider that the improved road paint will help self-driving cars work better. Of course, this sci-fi inspired future is not without its challenges. But it is awesome. [Mike Bloomberg]

NYC Is Replacing Its 250,000 Street Lights with LEDs

Pictures: Flickr / Trodel / Daan Roosegaarde



    Sydney has had LED streetlights for a couple of years, as well as a few other Aussie cities..

      Not in Melbourne as far as I can tell. They should be doing things like this instead of the carbon tax. Nuclear power plant would be good. Get rid of our brown coal power plants and it would reduce emissions considerably. Trying to reduce cows from farting is another way of reducing emissions. Methane is way more harmful to the environment than co2. In fact the emissions from our cattle are on par with all the cars emissions.

    They should change over every street light then put the savings towards the NBN...

    We still have some bloke wandering around lighting the gas lamps here in Bungers.

    On a serious note, we once used methane to light our cities, why not now?

      I'm guessing because piping gas to every street light would be way more expensive than running power cables.

      The outcome of a car crashing into a natural gas street light is probably not going to be good either.

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