Outdoor Lighting: GE LEDs light Gulangyu Island, global project updates

GE Lighting supplied Iberia LED fixtures to the ecotourism-centric Chinese island, while Leicester, UK, Melbourne, FL, and Long Beach, CA move forward with interesting projects.

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Gulangyu Island in China's Xiamen district hopes to reduce energy usage by 40% with LED lighting from GE Lighting. Leicester in the UK is expecting even bigger savings with a networked-based solid-state lighting (SSL) installation, and Melbourne, FL and Long Beach, CA have begun interesting pilot projects.

Gulangyu Island

GE supplied 584 LED Iberia fixtures for the Gulangyu Island project. The 90W SSL products were used to replace 150W high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures that had been installed only eight years ago. The Iberia luminaires deliver efficacy of 90 lm/W whereas the HPS fixtures delivered 50 lm/W.

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Gulangyu Island is a top ecotourism destination in Xiamen, China and both lighting projects had to have minimal impact on the natural beauty and ancient sights. "It is the common wish of the local residents and visitors that the natural beauty of Gulangyu Island will be conserved and the lives on the island be harmoniously balanced, by protecting it from the noise and pollution along urbanization," said Ye Rongnan, consultant and senior engineer of the Photovoltaic Industry Association of Fujian Province."

But the local authorities sought lighting that could both reduce energy consumption and improve lighting. "This is an exciting opportunity for us to help sculpt the night space of a well-known tourism destination while ensuring that the solution implemented meets both environmental and use-of-space considerations," said Ye Guoliang, sales general manager of roadway and infrastructure from GE Lighting China. "This is an energy-efficient and contemporary solution that is ideal for introducing a high quality of light and greater visibility for the different spaces while promoting the general safety of the environment."

Indeed, the new lighting is projected to deliver the equivalent of $10,000 in energy and maintenance savings annually. Guoliang added, "The GE LED solution is also easy to maintain compared to traditional lamps, and will achieve a nearly 40% reduction in energy usage for our client."

The lighting will also minimize light pollution, making the choice of product a good match for the environmentally-sensitive residents and visitors. Rongnan said, "To respond to Gulangyu Island's eco-friendly appeal, GE's lighting solution features its asymmetrical light distribution, which concentrates the light to the pavement area, providing better lighting efficiency while reducing energy over-consumption and environment pollution."

Leicester street lights

In other outdoor lighting projects around the globe, the town of Leicester in England has passed the 1000 light milestone in its project to replace all of its HPS lights with LED luminaires according to a report by the UK-based Lighting website. The town is using fixtures from manufacturer OrangeTek that also include network controls for dimming lights at night to add to the energy savings.

The old lights cost the town GNP 2 million per year to operate and the town projects the LED system will cut that figure by GBP 1.2 million — more than half. The GBP 13.8 million project will achieve payback in ten years.

Low lights in Melbourne

In the US, the city of Melbourne, FL has an interesting LED street light project according to a report by the Florida Today website. At the Eau Gallie Blvd exit on freeway I95, the city is testing eight LED street lights mounted only 14 ft high whereas typical freeway street lights in the area are mounted at 45 ft.

The lower mounting height is in response to new federal guidelines that have increased the required clearance between the lights and high-voltage power lines. The lower mounting height means more poles and fixtures, but less light from each and cheaper poles. The city is using luminaires from Florida-based Lighting Science Group. It will be interesting to see the results of the evaluation — both to see how much energy the LEDs saved and to see how well the lights perform at the lower height.

Long Beach pilot

While Los Angeles is home to the world's largest installation of LED street lights, other cities and utilities in the southern California region are still experimenting with SSL technology. According to the Gazettes website, Long Beach is testing LEDs on Baltic Ave with assistance from Southern California Edison and City Light & Power, which maintains the local street lights.

The city hopes to save at least 40% on energy costs with the new lights. But an equally important concerns is resident safety through better lighting. As we reported in an article on the Street and Area Light Conference last fall, Los Angeles has documented a 10.5% aggregate reduction in nighttime crime that is coincident between 2009 and 2011 when the city was making its initial push to install LED lighting.

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