LED is Lighting Up London

London makes LED street light plans that pay for themselves.

London, the largest city in the United Kingdom, and its mayor, Boris Johnson, have plans of reaching a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2025. The main part of the plan consists of the country’s largest deployment of LED street lighting, which will be accomplished by 2016, and produce 40% in energy savings. Thirty-five thousand LED streetlights will be installed along with a networked adaptive control system to control and monitor the lighting.

“With tens of thousands of lights marking the way on our road network it makes complete sense to focus energy and resources on bringing them up to 21st century standards,” said Mayor Johnson. “This is the largest investment to modernize street lighting on major roads in our capital’s history and will not only cut carbon emissions and save money but it will also lead to even better and safer roads for Londoners.”

The city has a total inventory of 52,000 lights and the plan is to eventually convert the entire system over to LED, which will take more than ten years. As part of normal maintenance and targeted retrofits, 35,000 lights will be replaced by 2016 in the first phase of the project. Projected emissions in the first phase of the project will be reduced by 9700 metric tons annually and is expected to save GBP 1.85 million (about $3 million) or 40% savings in electricity. The cost of the first phase will be GBP 10.9 million so essentially the plan is designed to pay for itself in savings over a ten-year period.

These savings will also be extended in terms of both lower maintenance costs and maximum energy efficiency through the networks Central Management System (CMS). The system sets light levels to minimum safe luminosity based on traffic and pedestrian activity. It also automatically detects required maintenance. Two years ago, London took part in the LightSavers consortium, which trialed LED-based controls and lighting as well as installing LED lighting in the Upper Thames Street tunnel.

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