The City Of Sydney's LED Lights Saved $370,000 And Cut Power Usage By 34 Per Cent

LED lights are great. They're more energy efficient than incandescents, they provide better quality light than sodium and tungsten lamps and they're less prone to failure than fluorescents. (Although Hollywood movies will never look the same.) The City Of Sydney has installed over 4000 LED globes in city street lights so far, and the results speak for themselves.

Those 4100 LED lights installed since March of 2012 have lowered the city's energy costs by more than a third; since public lighting itself accounts for more than a third of the entire energy bill that's a pretty significant dollar saving. $370,000 has been saved thanks to the switch over to LED lights, which consume a fraction of the power of alternatives and have a much longer lifespan, massively reducing overheads for replacement globes and maintenance work.

LED lighting also appears brighter than existing tungsten or sodium lamp lighting because it produces light over a broader range of the colour spectrum, looking closer to daylight — which itself covers the entire colour spectrum and is the light that we're most used to seeing. The lights have been installed all across the City's residential and commercial areas including Newtown and the new developments at Zetland; on the back of the work the NSW government is encouraging other councils across the state to consider switching too.

The City of Sydney has 22,000 street lights across its local government area; while 13,500 are the responsibility of the City's energy partner Ausgrid that leaves 8500 globes under the ownership of the City. A full 6500 are set to be swapped over to LED, and with 4100 complete nearly half are already there at this current milestone.

The City got a gong recently at the 2014 Institute Of Public Engineering Australasia awards, recognising its groundbreaking work in energy efficiency and greening — as well as the changes to street lights and the push for pan-city smart power usage, it has tried some pretty out-of-left-field ideas like installing lighter-coloured tarmac to reduce heat-soak and combat the effects of climate change. [City Of Sydney]

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    Is the $370k purely the savings off the electricity bill or is it the net saving after the cost to install? I imagine they could have spent a decent portion of the savings in feasibility studies, installation and general overhead. It would be interesting to know the net result BUT to me the 34% decrease in energy usage is the better statistic. That seems like a good result.

    Why dont they make them solar powered with a back up to electricity to save more money and power?

      I'd say because public solar cells might get vandalised, and they're still pretty (extremely) expensive. Hopefully we'll be seeing more as the technology gets cheaper and cheaper.

      You wouldn't get even a fraction of the energy needed from any reasonably-sized solar panel.

      Actually the park where the photo is taken (in the tweet) has a wind powered generator. This collects power for the coloured spots that light the park at night.

      Because the solar panel, battery and bulb would all need to be replaced over the course of time as they all wear out. I also doubt that the cost of the battery and panel would work out cheaper than the reduced power consumption from this off grid solution. Also what is to say that the Council does not buy green energy already so they may in fact already be solar powered via the grid?

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