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LED Scale-up

LED Scale-up

We're working to transform how we light our world.

Lighting accounts for nearly 6% of global CO2 greenhouse gas emissions. Light emitting diode (LED) technology is capable of achieving up to 50-70% energy savings. Wider adoption of such energy efficient lighting can provide a significant reduction in global emissions.

In the post COP21 landscape, LED lighting has been recognized as one of the most actionable and ready to implement technologies for cities to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.


The Climate Group is working to accelerate adoption of LED street lighting in cities around the globe.

In 2012 we published results from the LightSavers – a series of LED street lighting trials in 12 major cities around the world – which proved LED lighting is reliable, brings significant savings, and provides wider socio-economic benefits to citizens Most importantly, we confirmed LED street lighting is ready for full scale rollout in cities.

Since then, some cities have made the switch to LED street lighting. Early adopters such as Los Angeles is already reporting energy savings of 63% – corresponding to cost savings of US$8.8 million a year. However, the vast majority of global cities have yet to make the switch.


To find out why, we launched our Global LED Consultations, supported by our lead Partner Philips Lighting and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. Our aim was to identify and address the remaining regional barriers to LED adoption.

Our key findings revealed that while technological barriers have largely been overcome, specific challenges remain around lack of capacity to address each individual cities unique circumstances and identifying the most appropriate adoption business case.

To accelerate this transition we called for every city and utility around the globe to make the switch to LED street lighting (or as energy efficient) by 2025.

scale up

To help city stakeholders in the drive to achieve the 2025 target, and support national and regional policy to help accelerate scale-up of such energy efficient lighting technologies, The Climate Group’s LED scale-up program covers an expanding list of areas, including: 

  • Global LED Consultation: Ongoing consultations to identify and address remaining barriers to the scale-up of LED street lighting around the world.
  • LED EVENTS: Upcoming events linked our LED work.
  • LED PUBLICATIONS: The Climate Group’s LED publications, reports and summaries.
  • LED KNOWLEDGE BASE - A growing database of LED-related information and reference materials. [Under construction].
  • LED FINANCING: Program to explore existing and new LED financing models for cities and opportunities to leverage wider sources of finance for large-scale LED infrastructure projects, particularly in developing countries.
  • LED ADOPTION BY UTILITIES: Program to help identify opportunities and drive supporting policies to drive the adoption of energy efficient LED lighting by utilities.
  • OFF-GRID LED LIGHTING: Exploring the opportunity for off-grid LED lighting solutions in city and rural locations.


LED Scale-up: Two-page overview of our latest work and main activities for the coming year. The Big Switch: First report under the new LED campaign revealing initial findings from our consultation work. Consultation Handout: An extended summary outlining key factors for cities exploring LED street lighting.
1led led2 scale up



Case studies

The energy saving potential of LED lighting has been proven over extended time periods in cities around the globe, and as a result LEDs are now predominantly the first choice for cities when upgrading their lighting infrastructure. Our LED program systematically evaluates projects around the world. See latest news and relevant links and case studies below.

Note: This is an expanding list of examples to highlight where LEDs have been adopted at scale.

Global trials

report covers banner for led city trials

Adelaide, Australia
Pedestrian pathway LED retrofit in the northern parklands of Adelaide. Final report

Guiyang, China
The municipal government is testing two Chinese-made LED street light luminaires, one on a riverside pedestrian pathway and another on a local street. Results not published

Haldia, India
Haldia in West Bengal, India, is receiving LED installations on a major highway in the heart of the city.

Hong Kong, China
Two municipal universities and the Hong Kong International Airport are testing and comparing Taiwanese, Chinese, and American-made LED pathway luminaries on their respective pilot sites. Final report

Kolkata, India
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation is testing over a 100 Indian made LED street light luminaries in several locales. Final report

London, United Kingdom
Transport for London is testing high powered LED roadway lights in demanding applications on their Red Routes.

Mumbai, India
The Thane Municipal Corporation will install a trial of LED streetlights in the Greater Mumbai Region with support from the national government's Bureau of Energy Efficiency.

New York City, United States
The New York Department of Transportation is testing nine LED products in Central Park and on FDR East Side Drive. Final report for Central Park and for FDR Drive

Sydney, Australia
The City of Sydney is testing LED lighting with smart controls on George Street, a road in the centre of Sydney's business district. Final report

Tianjin, China
Local government agencies are testing two Chinese-made LED street lights products in a new ecocity development and on a university campus. Results not published

Toronto, Canada
Four City of Toronto agencies are testing parking lot, parking garage, and pedestrian pathway LED lighting products, some with smart controls. Final reports for two trials for Caledon and TCHC


  • Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs, Philips Lighting, talks about LED street lighting and the new LED campaign

  • Ben Ferrari, Director of Partnership, The Climate Group, talks about LED street lighting with Philips

  • Harry Verhaar, Head of Global Public and Government Affairs, Philips Lighting, talks about climate change at CCTV


This section provides links to examples of tools that have been recently developed to support cities and municipalities in their planning for LED lighting upgrades.  

Beyond the immediate and calculable energy savings that LEDs can provide, there are many other factors that can influence the decisions of city managers around current and future lighting needs of cities.

Upgrade decisions can be influenced by available financing, remaining lifetime of existing fittings and whether needs can be met by either retrofitting luminaires, replacing lighting/poles, upgrading aging infrastructure and addressing options for future proofing fittings.  

Below is an open toolkit list for reference. Note that this is an expanding list, it is intended to support local governments and cities. Other resources are available from both the public and private sector. To suggest links, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

A comprehensive archive of information on how LEDs work, their energy efficiency, luminous efficiency and color quality.

The DoE shares detailed reports that include analysis of data collected, projected energy savings, economic   analyses and user feedback.

Developed by the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) and supported by the Scottish Government, the toolkit allows councils to input their current street lighting data to calculate the reduced electricity usage from a  switch to  LED lighting.

Quality Thresholds for LEDs (Outdoor lighting)

Abu Dhabi Public Realm & Street Lighting Handbook – Martin Valentine

The “Abu Dhabi Public Realm & Street Lighting Handbook” development process brings together contributors representing varied viewpoints and interests to achieve consensus on lighting recommendations. 


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