LED lights improve cities because they are in general highly energy efficient. LEDs are integrated lights that use light emitting diodes (LED) as its main light source. An electric current passes through the semiconductor material, causing the tiny light sources to illuminate. The heat produced is then absorbed into a heat sink.
Common colors for LED lights include: blue, red, green, and amber. To get a white light, manufacturers mix different color LEDs and cover them with a phosphor material that will convert the light color to white.
How do LED lights improve cities?
- LED lights have double the energy efficiency of fluorescent and incandescent lights. For this reason, they make for good street lights. Their energy efficiency means more reliable lighting on roads. It is dangerous when street lights blow out and leave the roads dark. With LED street lights, you would not have to worry about that.
- LED streetlights reduce carbon emissions. Because of their energy efficiency and resultant long lifespan, LED streetlights emit less carbon into the atmosphere over time. This is a great feature for the environment.
- LED turn on quickly. Unlike fluorescent and incandescent lights, LED lights do not take time to warm up. As soon as you turn on the power switch, the LED streetlight will be working on full power. This feature will come in handy for emergencies in which lighting is needed immediately on a road.
- They can be programmed to produce directional light. LED streetlights are useful for directing light in a specific area. It can be harnessed to make crosswalks sager by increasing the brightness on pedestrian paths. They can also be programmed to blink rapidly in order to signal emergency responders to a destination.
Looking To The Future
Energy conservation is becoming an increasingly important global topic. Countries are looking to reduce their carbon emissions in order to mitigate the effects of global warming. LED streetlights are a great contender for being one of the technological advances that aids in energy conservation. According to one estimate, if we converted all streetlights to LEDs, it would halve the amount of energy used for lighting altogether. That is a very powerful observation.
Some cities are already having success with LED streetlights. For example, the city of Yonkers, New York is “saving $1 million a year after replacing its streetlights with energy-efficient LED technology.” Other cities in the United States are experiencing a decrease in community energy use after installing LED streetlights as well – including Solvay, New York and Los Angeles, California.
It is no longer a question of whether LED lights improve cities. The question is what barriers councils and communities face that keep them from installing LEDs. As more cities install LED streetlights and improve their roads, we will continue to see a decrease in energy consumption and carbon emissions. Some cities may be slow in making the technologic change because of the cost roadblock. Replacing all streetlights in a city is a major financial investment – but well worth it.