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Cities can save up to 50-70% on energy by upgrading to smart, connected LED street lights

13 April 2018, 17:06 BST 3 min read

By upgrading to LEDs, cities can take advantage of unprecedented 50-70% energy savings, says Toby Morgan, LED Program Manager at The Climate Group.

The significant financial savings achieved through upgrading to connected LED street lighting systems can be reinvested in to other energy efficiency schemes, and help support stretched municipal budgets. Moreover, further socio-economic benefits and links to future Smart City initiatives can be realised.

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

The wide ranging and significant benefits of upgrading to LED can clearly be seen in the City of Albany, NY, where 10,000 of their street lights are due to be upgraded to a connected LED system. Kevin Luteran, Energy Manager from the City of Albany, talking in a recent webinar hosted by The Climate Group in partnership with Philips Lighting, says the overall lighting bill is expected to be an amazing 88% less than their previous contract.

Like 60% of street lighting in the US, Albany’s street lights were owned by a utility, which can be a barrier to the adoption of LEDs. The City of Albany worked with the state utility commissioner to negotiate with the utility to enable the city to buy ownership of their street lighting assets, enabling the LED conversion.

The Albany example also demonstrates the significant benefits of a Centralized Management System, including the monitoring and scheduling of maintenance. The LED system is futureproofed, with the use of an industry standard connection on the luminaire unit, which will allow expansion of various sensors and detectors to enable future smart city initiatives. Such technologies can enable cities to monitor various aspects of city life, such as pollution and traffic levels for example, which can allow cities to become more sustainable and help plan city services more effectively.

What support is available to other US cities?

For cities beginning to explore upgrading to LED street lighting, there is a range of support available, says Crystal McDonald from the US Department of Energy (DoE). This includes the Outdoor Lighting Accelerator Toolkit; which incorporates financial, regulatory and technical support to cities looking to upgrade. Crystal gave examples of how various cities in the US have been supported through their LED journey, and how the DoE tools have assisted them to benefit from LED lighting systems.

With the support on offer from the DoE and compelling case studies such as City of Albany demonstrate that upgrading to smart, connected LED street lighting should be a top priority for US cities, with significant and immediate benefits.

Find out more

The Climate Group, in partnership with Philips Lighting, delivered a webinar on 5th April, LED Scale-Up Webinar: A Practitioner’s Guide to Connected Street Lighting. Our guests, Kevin Luteran, Energy Manager from the City of Albany NY, and Crystal McDonald from the US (DoE), demonstrated how cities can benefit from upgrading to connected LED street lighting systems.

A recording of the webinar can be found here.

We would welcome to hear from any cities or other stakeholders to know how The Climate Group can help support you in your LED journey, please email