Sydney switches on the LED Revolution

Clare Saxon Ghauri
29 March 2012

MELBOURNE: Sydney became the first major city in Australia - and one of the first in the world - to embrace LED lighting this week, following council approval for General Electric (GE) and UGL Limited to fit LEDs to the majority of the City’s outdoor lights as part of an AUS $7 million three-year project.

The new lights promise to cut the City’s lighting-related electricity bills and carbon emissions by more than 50%, while bathing city streets in a whiter, brighter light.

The first lights will be installed this weekend on George Street in front of Sydney Town Hall, a central location which was initiated by The Climate Group’s LightSavers program.

In total, 6,500 lights will be fitted with LED technology. A rollout of this size is unprecedented in Australia and will be closely watched by other councils. If successful, it may start a domino effect and see LEDs spread to city streets across Australia. 

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore supports the City’s pioneering rollout of the LED lights. He said: “Replacing 6,450 conventional lights will save nearly $800,000 a year in electricity bills and maintenance costs. Sydney will be the first city in Australia to install the new LED street and park lights across its entire city centre, and joins other major cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles and San Francisco.”

Independent polls conducted in the trial areas show that Sydney residents agree with the City Council’s move: 90% supported the rollout of the lights on Sydney’s streets. 

GE provided the winning bid to supply the energy efficient lights. The company has provided lights for cities in the US, Mexico and New Zealand. 

Nathan Dunn, Managing Director, GE Lighting Australia and New Zealand, said: “LED technology will transform lighting as we know it – saving up to 75% of energy compared to incandescent light sources, while lasting up to 25 times longer. This will have a profound impact on how we think about lighting in the future.”

Sydney’s LED transformation follows a rigorous testing phase conducted as a contributor to The Climate Group’s Global LED trial. The Global Trial, undertaken in more than 10 major world cities, including Hong Kong, London, New York and Toronto, has put almost 30 different outdoor LED lighting products to the test. 

The City’s successful trial results also reflect those of the wider Global Trial: LED products are reliable, use 50-70% less energy and produce fewer carbon emissions – and have outshone traditional street lighting with more attractive light

Caroline Bayliss, Australia Director, The Climate Group, said “This historic decision represents the arrival of LED technology in Australia. The City of Sydney’s leadership provides a clear signal to other Australian councils: LED technology is ready. We congratulate both Sydney and GE for bringing the LED lighting revolution to our shores.”

See what else we have been doing on our LED lighting program page

Facebook icon
Twitter icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon