Potential $6 Billion Annual Savings Opportunity via LED Outdoor Lighting

by Alexander Flores

The rise of LED lighting has increased over recent years and can be seen almost everywhere these days. From car lights to house lights, from TV panels to Christmas lights, LED lighting is slowly, but surely paving the way to an energy efficient lighting future. A typical LED bulb uses 80 percent less energy than a standard incandescent light bulb and will last up to 25 years, which is why many are pushing to substitute them to light the ways along streets and highways. LED lights are also directional light sources in which well-designed fixtures can point the light exactly where the light is needed and prevent light from going where it’s unwanted. It costs approximately $10 billion worth of electricity to power the 100 million or so outdoor lights across the United States, which is equivalent to the power consumed by 6 million homes.

The technology and products behind LED lighting can cut a typical city’s outdoor lighting bill by half or more. By shifting to energy-saving LED light bulbs, local governments can cut operating expenses while reducing their carbon footprint. President Obama issued the Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting, which aims to upgrade 1.5 million light poles and encourage mayors across the country to adopt LED bulbs for their cities. The Department of Energy (DOE) has done plenty of solid work on demonstration projects to validate the effectiveness of outdoor LED lights and to develop procurement guidelines for interested businesses and communities. At the moment, less than 5 percent of U.S. outdoor lighting fixtures use LED bulbs, which is why the Department of Energy estimates that a complete shift to LED outdoor lights would save more than $6 billion and prevent 40 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. We can only hope that more and more people will seize this great opportunity to save money and energy with such highly efficient lighting.

Horowitz, Noah. LED Outdoor Lighting: $6 Billion Annual Savings Opportunity Ripe for the Picking. The Energy Collective. February 10, 2015. (http://theenergycollective.com/nrdcswitchboard/2191381/led-outdoor-lighting-6-billion-annual-savings-opportunity-ripe-picking)

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