Outdoor Lighting: LEDs light streets, airports, gardens, and buildings

Aug. 3, 2010
Cities from the USA to Russia continue to adopt LED street lights while the SSL technology also finds use in airport, garden, and building applications.

In a roundup of Outdoor Lighting happenings around the globe, street lights continue to dominate the news with more cities moving to LED-base solid-state lighting (SSL) seeking to reap savings related to energy and maintenance costs. In Pittsburgh, PA, LEDs made news in an airport lighting project while a Dallas, TX building features decorative LED illumination. LEDs evidently will also be applicable in everyday garden lighting projects,

Canton, OH plans to retrofit 326 street lights with LEDs according to the CantonRep.com web site. The city hopes to save $10,000 annually in energy costs and $20,000 annually in maintenance based on the assumption that LEDs have a service life that is four to five times longer than high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights.

A US Department of Energy (DOE) grant made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will pay for the $200,000 project. The city hopes to follow with a second phase that will convert 340 additional lights. The city is also in the process of replacing 1200 traffic signals with LED lights and converting illuminated roadway name signs to LEDs.

Cerritos, CA, meanwhile is retrofitting 402 street lights with LEDs according to the Long Beach Press Telegram. The city hopes to save $24,000 per year and claims that the SSL conversion will save enough energy to power 20 homes.

In Russia, the city of Kemerovo in the Siberian region has retrofitted 200 street lights with fixtures manufactured by LLC TD Focus, that are equipped with Osram Golden Dragon Oval Plus LEDs. The Environmental Leader web site reports that the city believes the SSL conversion will save $26,000 annually.

The Golden Dragon Oval Plus LEDs leverage an oval optic to form an efficient beam pattern and were developed specifically for street lights. The fixtures in the Kemerovo installation deliver 65-95 lm/W and minimize light pollution.

LEDs to light airport parking and roadways

It's not just municipalities jumping on the SSL outdoor lighting band wagon. In Pittsburgh, PA, the Allegheny County Airport Authority will install 1347 new LED-based luminaires. The SSL fixtures will illuminate parking garages and decks, and the passenger drop-off and pick-up areas. The Authority hopes to save $158,000 in energy costs annually.

Appalachian Lighting Systems Inc (ALSI) will install the luminaires that will be based on Cree XLamp LEDs. ALSI will manufacture the luminaires in a southwestern Pennsylvania facility. "The green lighting project at Pittsburgh International Airport is a win-win situation because it will increase energy efficiency and decrease operating costs for the Airport Authority," said Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. "The LED units will also be manufactured right here in Southwestern Pennsylvania, creating jobs and helping to solidify our standing as a leader in green technology and environmental stewardship."

David McAnally, President & CEO of ALSI said, "In addition to the vast percentage of the components in these innovative ALSI lighting systems being developed and manufactured here in the Commonwealth and in other parts of the US, these luminaries are engineered to provide between 73 to 82 percent savings in energy costs, and last essentially maintenance free for as long as 20 years."

86,000 LED panels skin building

In SSL decorative lighting, the Dallas TX area is once again gaining notoriety for doing things on a massive scale. There are several office towers that utilize LED panels as skins including the Hunt Consolidated headquarters on Akard St. The building has 86,000 LED panels on three sides according to The Dallas Morning News.

The LED panels can produce more than a million colors and deliver static or moving displays and even play video. For the US July 4 holiday, the panels were used to simulate a waving American flag.

We'll close this Outdoor Lighting report with a fun SSL item for the garden. The Gadgeteer web site recently featured solar-powered LED-based garden lights from Britta Products. The hanging cone-shaped lights gather power that charges batteries during the days and lights the garden at night. The company also offers several models or solar-powered LED-based garden-path lights.