IP, Reports & Roadmaps | Jul 28, 2010

DOE Releases Two New Reports on LED Street Lighting

DOE released two new street lighting reports within the Gateway Demonstrations program. Both results show a clear progress in LED street lighting technology and cost savings.

Residential LED Street Lighting Demonstration - City of San Francisco:
This demonstration shows that the potential for energy savings from LED street lighting is vast using current technology. Furthermore, this potential is only expected to increase in the future as LED technology continues to improve. However, this demonstration also shows that the viability of LED street lights to replace conventional technologies depends on careful consideration of both the specific application and the product chosen.
Two of the LED luminaires studied as a part of this demonstration were considered sufficient to replace the base case HPS luminaires. However, the other two LED luminaires were not sufficient in the cases measured in the field. In addition, while two of the LED luminaires performed as well or better in all cases, neither they nor the HPS luminaires were deemed to provide adequate lighting in the 200’ spacing. It would be advised that a replacement LED luminaire in the wider spacing be of sufficient power and lumen output to provide significantly increased performance.
Similarly, of the four LED luminaires assessed, two were cost-effective in the scenarios considered in this study. While the cost-effectiveness metrics used were dependant on application-specific estimates of costs and savings, it can be reasonably assumed that this will be true in many cases. Additionally, decreasing luminaire costs and increasing energy savings will result in even more cost-effective scenarios in the future.
Both technical and economic performance of the LED luminaires continues to increase. This, combined with growing industry acceptance of their higher performance as compared to HPS luminaires, may provide early adopters the impetus to invest in the emerging technology. Utility or government incentive programs could also help to tip the scale towards greater adoption of LED luminaires for street light applications by reducing the initial investment. Utility incentive programs should require minimum performance standards for qualifying products in order to ensure long-term energy savings and lighting quality.
Readers of this study are advised to use their own cost and savings estimates, and to consider their own unique installation characteristics before making any final decisions with regard to replacing their existing street lights with LED luminaires. However, we believe that LED luminaires will certainly be a viable, cost effective replacement for HPS street lights in many situations, with the potential for significant energy savings.

For detailed information please visit http://www.netl.doe.gov/ssl/ or download "Residential LED Street Lighting Demonstration" document.

Street Lighting Report, Phase III - City of Oakland:
LED street lighting continues to show great and improving potential for energy savings. When compared with the previous assessment completed less than a year ago, this demonstration provides an impressive example of improvements in performance of LED luminaires.
Progress in 12 Months – Phase III Results as compared to Phase II:
• Energy savings increased by 26% (LED luminaire wattage dropped from 78W to 58W)
• Luminaire cost decreased by 34% (From $610 to $400)
• Lighting performance maintained

This progress was achieved using the same generation of LED chip and the same driver as the product used in the Phase II demonstration. All improvements resulted from the manufacturer’s development/refinement in the product design.
The economic performance of the luminaires in this demonstration is significantly improved compared to the previous luminaires due to decreased costs and increased savings. As the technical and economic performance of LED luminaires continues to improve and there is growing industry acceptance of their benefits vs. traditional luminaires, early adopters have further impetus to invest in the emerging technology. While not within the scope of this demonstration, many advocate that whitelight
(broad spectrum) sources (e.g., LEDs) provide greater aesthetic value to an area, as well as providing a perception of greater security because colors and images are more clearly visible. These benefits are over and above the economic and environmental benefit from changing to this new technology and should be valued by each customer. We believe customers with significant street lighting costs should be encouraged by the results of this demonstration and raise the priority of examining possible changes to their street light operations

For detailed information please visit http://www.netl.doe.gov/ssl/ or download "Phase III LED Street Lighting Demonstration" document.