DOE reports on San Francisco street lighting demo

Feb. 3, 2009
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has published the report from a demonstration of LED street lighting in San Francisco, California.
An LED street lighting demonstration in San Francisco is one of a number of DOE Gateway demonstrations that showcase high-performance LED products for general illumination.

This Gateway report, prepared by Pacific Gas & Electric and Energy Solutions, provides an overview of project results including lighting performance, cost effectiveness, and potential energy savings.

In this project, LED street lights from four manufacturers – namely Beta LED, Cyclone, Leotek, and Relume - were installed on four public avenues in the Sunset District of San Francisco, each with a total of five street lights from the beginning to end of the block.

On each avenue, 100-watt nominal high-pressure sodium (HPS) luminaires were replaced with new LED luminaires (each street featuring a different LED product).

Key findings are:

  • While lighting performance varied among the LED luminaires assessed in this study, energy savings potential was high in each case, with energy reductions ranging from 50% to 70% over the current HPS system.
  • The products that generally performed better in terms of lighting performance also proved to be more economically attractive.
The report says that, overall, this assessment shows that energy savings potential from current LED street lighting is significant, and that savings potential is likely to further increase in the future as the energy and lighting performance of LED street lights continues to improve.

However, not all products currently available are ready for mass deployment; limitations continue to exist in the lighting performance of some. Additionally, economic viability (which is subject to location details), will remain a key factor that must be weighed in concert with lighting performance.

Incentive program development may further encourage LED street light adoption. The study recommends that any such incentive programs include performance standards that consider warranty, efficacy, light distribution, and other important criteria.