The Council is exploring the option to reduce energy use by installing high efficiency LED streetlighting throughout the city.
Currently, the Council spends more than $2.3 million a year lighting the city’s streets. Street lights use some 7.33 megawatts of electricity – enough energy to power several thousand homes.
Installation of LED lighting has potential to reduce energy use – and costs – by at least 50 percent, and probably much more.
LED technology also brings numerous other benefits. It offers better visibility and therefore safety than conventional street lighting. Light pollution is reduced. And LED lighting can be controlled – allowing lights to be dimmed when they are not needed, or lighting levels to be increased in areas of high demand. LED lights also last much longer than conventional lights, are easier to maintain, and are less harmful to the environment.
The introduction of new LED streetlights may also provide an opportunity for a city Wi-Fi "mesh" suitable as the backbone for other "sensing city" initiatives.
LED lighting has already been successfully trialled on Courtenay Place. The Council now proposes to roll out LED lighting in stages across the city. There is an up-front cost because LED lamps are more expensive than conventional ones. However, this will be offset by lower energy and maintenance costs.
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