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October 19, 2007

Comments

donb

So what were they using for lighting previously? Incandescent bulbs?

I have nothing against LED lighting, but it is still not there in cost and efficiency when compared to alternatives such as low and high pressure sodium lamps for outdoor, wide area lighting.

However, LED lamps can have the advantage over sodium lamps for high quality (color rendition) lighting.

Charles S

"Detroit Edison, Ann Arbor’s local utility provider, will meter the new LED streetlights with the intent to gather sufficient information to develop new LED-based tariffs."

I wonder if this idea will be more common in the future: taxing efficiency.

I've heard a story where an owner of wind turbine was slapped with a huge increase in property tax because he/she was making profit from selling electricity back to the grid. Essentially, the tax was so high that it completely negates the profits.

I realize that the parties that make money from status quo may get hurt by efficiency gains, but I wonder if there is a better way than robbing the good to feed the bad.

Carl Hage

How about turning off the lights-- maybe by timer, or for high tech, IR/image sensors and radio nets. Most of the time, noone is there to perceive the light.

donb: So what were they using for lighting previously? Incandescent bulbs?

Yeah. The numbers don't all add up. The press releases and even product sheets seem to hide the most relevant comparisons. The lumec data sheet on the street light lists lots of specs, but no lumens. What are the lumens/watt? LEDs are directional, so it's hard to compare directly, but from what I can find, LEDs are not as efficient as the orange sodium vapor lights (which also have long life).

See: Energy Efficiency & Environmental News: Lighting and Street light comparison and Luminous Efficacy.

Add up the numbers-- 56W @ 12h is about $25/year. How do you get $100/year savings? (Labor for replacing the incandescent bulbs?).

How much does a bulb cost? $630? How do you get 3.8 year payback at $100/bulb? I guess the cost is really $380 + the grant money of $630, maybe $1000/each?

Interesting how energy efficient lighting doesn't quote delivered illumination. (And we ignore efficiency of the lighting fixtures.) A 9W "replacement" for a 100W bulb has 300 lumens vs 1700 for a 23W CFL.

Interesting how the "LED Cities" match the location of the manufacturers: Lumec (Quebec), Relume (Ann Arbor), and Cree (Duram, NC).

Lorenzo Rambaldi

I'd like to erase the petroleum lobby at once!! we have to change our living way. We have got a blog about these issues, come and visit us: www.energyislife.org

eric

I believe the reason they need to develop new LED tariffs is that the streetlights aren't individually metered. They are just connected to the grid, and the city pays based upon the number of fixtures, which is in effect an estimate as to the actual usage.

petr

the tax on efficiency comment -in a way reminds me of James Watt & Boulton(who charged owners of his steam engines a rate based on their savings of coal - due to the higher efficiency of the Watt engine) at least as long as he had the patent rights.

Reality Czech

If the old lights in Ann Arbor are at all typical, they are either high-pressure or low-pressure sodium bulbs.

Michael Gross

I hope the LEDs have evolved to be more than just ornamental street lighting.
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bigTom

A few months back I had seen something on Ann Arbors lighting plan. It was being touted as a "dark skies" advance, i.e. the new lights would be directional (down). Most of the older vapor lights still throw quite a bit of light up -which is very bad for Astronomy. So perhaps they are gaining up to a factor of two by not wasting photons going in the wrong direction. Perhaps more, if they are only lighting streets and sidewalks, and not grass and neighboring buildings?

Vance Bedbug

They are going to make up the money once electric cars get to the grid.

Harvey D

1)LEDs are quickly becoming the most efficient light source. It is the only light capable of producing more than 150 lumens per watt with a potential of well over 200 lumens/watt.

2) LEDs can produce multiple colours and pure white light, more pleasing than sodium vapour bulbs.

3) LEDs fixtures are easily made to be directional, i.e. aiming the light where it is required, not to the sky or on neighbouring windows.

4) LEDs will last 60 000+ hours, i.e. up to 10 times more than other bulbs.

5) LEDs price is droping quickly and will be cost competitve very shorthly.

There are no reasons why municipalities, cities, airports, industries etc will not use LEDs for stop lights, parking lots and street lights in the very near future.

LEDs will eventually replace miniature fluorescent bulbs-lights which are only half as efficient. Future LEDs could be three times as efficient as CFL.

An average home with about 50 incadescent (50-75-100 watt) bulbs and a 3-ton, 10-SEER AC could save enough energy with 50 (5-7.5-10 watt LEDs) and a 23-SEER high efficiency 3-ton Heat-Pump, to recharge a PHEV or BEV almost free.

First users (as did CFL first users) will pay more but within 10 years, LEDs price will be as low as todays CFL price. Incadescents will be in the museums.

bigTom

harvey, good comments.

The longer lifetimes of LEDs has been a prime motivator in mnay applications. Any application where changing the bulb is a significant expense. This includes automobile headlights and stoplights. I think most streetlights also fall into this category.
Supposedly semiconductor lasers have the potential for even higher efficiency.

Nucbuddy

bigTom,

In addition to the gains from directionality and longer-life, Ann Arbor may be realizing gains from motion-detection.
google.com/search?q=streetlights+motion+detectors

gke

One problem I heard was that the lights{especially critical is traffic lights]can frost over in cold climates because led does not throw off heat to melt snow and ice.
Has this been solved? Is it really a prob? Anyone have further info on this?

Harvey D

gke

Our city (about 100Km north of north pole USA i.e. north of Plattsburg NY) has been using LED stop lights for a few years without this problem.

However, freezing rain may be a problem, as it is with most outside lights and power lines. Ice detection + small heating elements or micro-waves burst could take care of that. Of course this could increase the initial cost. Ice detectors and heating elements are not expensive and could be built in the fixtures, where required.

donb

Vance Bedbug said:
1)LEDs are quickly becoming the most efficient light source. It is the only light capable of producing more than 150 lumens per watt with a potential of well over 200 lumens/watt.
Tell me where I can buy some 150 lumen/watt LED lamps. Also, low pressure sodium lamps were doing 180 lumens/watt 30 years ago.

2) LEDs can produce multiple colours and pure white light, more pleasing than sodium vapour bulbs.
No argument there, but you might find that efficiency goes down as light quality goes up.

3) LEDs fixtures are easily made to be directional
Reflectors to make other types of lamps directional are a well known technology.

4) LEDs will last 60 000+ hours
Score one for LEDs. But well designed fluorescents will last 25000+ hours.

Again, I have nothing against LED lighting. There are many applications where it perfectly fits right now (indicators, traffic lights, etc) I think it has a great future in general lighting. I just don't like the hype to get beyond the reality of what I can buy.

Amsterdamned

Reflectors to make other types of lamps directional are a well known technology.

Yes, those are called non-imaging optics. Most new cars have non-imaging optics in their headlights.

However, these optics are not 100% efficient due to reflector inefficiency (heating), which of course reduces overall lighting efficiency a bit.

LEDs require less reflective optics so won't have much losses there.

More importantly, well designed LEDs are very sturdy and resistant to vibrations and shocks, which is important for automotive applications. And would virtually eliminate the need for cleaning as well.

There is no need for overly elaborate solutions like microwave defrosting. Clever design combined with a powerful water repellant coating (such as teh nano structured surfaces that are being developed) would not allow water to stay on the surface so ice cannot form there at all.

Amsterdamned

Reflectors to make other types of lamps directional are a well known technology.

Yes, those are called non-imaging optics. Most new cars have non-imaging optics in their headlights.

However, these optics are not 100% efficient due to reflector inefficiency (heating), which of course reduces overall lighting efficiency a bit.

LEDs require less reflective optics so won't have much losses there.

More importantly, well designed LEDs are very sturdy and resistant to vibrations and shocks, which is important for automotive applications.

There is no need for overly elaborate solutions like microwave defrosting. Clever design combined with a powerful water repellant coating (such as the nano structured surfaces that are being developed) would not allow water to stay on the surface so ice cannot form there at all. And would virtually eliminate the need for cleaning as well.

Amsterdamned

UGH! Typepad Trouble.

VJ

LED lights are definetely going to replace current lighting systems. Reasons are:

1. More efficient - LED output upto 120 lumens/watt compared to 86 lumens/watt of sodium vapour lamps

2. Long life - LEDs last 60000 hours and can last even longer if they driven at 70-80% of their current rating

3. Directional light - Current lighting is omnidirectional and require optics which reduces their actual output to 65%. Optic also deteriorate over time further decreasing the light output

4. Dimming - HID lamps cannot be dimmed by more than 10% or so while LED lamps can be dimmed to almost 0. This is a great way to save energy where lights can be dimmed to 25% during say 12AM to 6AM in case of street lights. Such dimming also increases the life of LED lamps

5. Solar power - LED lamps are perfect for solar power. Together the potential for highly effiencient energy lighting solutions are possible

Presently the LED lamps are expensive, but like all technologies, they will soon be affordable once there is widespread use. Manufacuters need volumes to cut down prices ;)

Mike

Advocates of LEDs,
Please do not distort the benefits of sodium vapor lamps: they have a lumens/watt somewhere north of 150... sorry!

LEDs usually have a nicer light but they don't have all the benefits that you are touting...yet!

Please get your facts straight...and don't let wishful thinking run away with you.

Mohammad

LED lights may last about 3 times longer than HPS lights but replacement LEDs are a lot more expensive than replacement HPS bulb. LED technology for street lights is advancing quickly. It might be smarter to wait until the advances in LED street light level off before doing a city wide installation. LEDs have shorter lives in hot climates so blanket comparison to HPS should be done with caution.

Few times during the winter we have snow stick to our LED traffic lights. This is a directional thing. It depend on the wind direction and the temperature. We have to manually clean them.

R. Johnson

Stray voltage has always been an issue in both city infastructure systems as well as farming. In New York City, for example, each year a number of people (and pets)are injured from stray voltage which can electrify manhole's, lamp poles and almost any "street furnature", such as pay phones and bus stop shelters. Several years ago, a woman was killed when she was electricuted as she stepped on a manhole casement which had been accidentaly electrified. There are many other cases involving injuries, some serious. In Northern cities, this is compounded with the use of salt on the streets in the winter. A few months ago, I was at a trade show and came upon a device and system which clearly is an excellent solution to this problem. It is an on site, real-time stray voltage warning system which alerts the public when a manhole cover or street light pole becomes electrified by sounding an alarm and flashing lights. The technology is called the Electrified Cover Safeguard and their website is www.manholesafety.com . Might be a work around solution to some of the recent posts.

JoeBlow

http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/nelpag/INFO52.html

Facts.

SHIRI

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led high power for street lighting or fixture lighting want . please sample from led lamps send mail .

SHIRI

hi
led high power for street lighting or fixture lighting want . please sample from led lamps send mail .

SHIRI

hi
led high power for street lighting or fixture lighting want . please sample from led lamps send mail .

SHIRI

hi
led high power for street lighting or fixture lighting want . please sample from led lamps send mail .

Renewable Energy

Using energy effecient lighting systems such as LED is a very smart investment to save money on energy cost.

It also helps minimize pollution and conserve the environment.

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Dr. Light

My street could definitely use some LED street lighting, that's for sure. Can you let me know when they implement it? I'm curious to see how it works out.

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i think everybody needs to go green.


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forex forum

everybody needs to start recycling and start using these new bulbs. we need to go green.

George

I think this is fantastic. Now they just need to switch the public buildings to geothermal heating and cooling.

S.SANTHIRAJ

Hello AnnArbor:

Congratulations for having implemented LED project.

Can you share with us the success story after implementation?

* How much energy is saved?
* How much labor saved due to long life of LED lamps?

*What are the unforeseen problems faced?

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Experience is the na me give their mistakes. (Oscar Wilde, British playwright and poet)

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Hi, Great post,thanks for sharing such a wonderful blog.
everybody needs to start led bulbs and start using these new bulbs. we need to go green.

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For me there's no problem to use an LED light to replace an old traditional light bulb in streetlights because its energy efficient low cost of maintenance it has a longer life than old bulb and most especially its really energy efficient lights.

Houston Home Security

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