LED street lighting can generate energy savings as high as 85%, a global trial of the technology has found. The programme also indicates that citizens of pilot cities prefer LED lighting, citing the social and environmental benefits.

The findings of LightSavers, a two-and-a-half-year global pilot of LED lamps in 15 separate trials across 12 cities including New York, London, Kolkata and Sydney, are presented in a new report entitled, Lighting the Clean Revolution: The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it Means for Cities <www.TheCleanRevolution.org/lighting-the-clean-revolution>

The report explores the global market status and potential for LED technology and provides guidelines for policymakers and city light managers who want to scale-up and finance large LED retrofits. The report was launched as part of the Clean Revolution campaign at the Rio+20 UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum and produced by The Climate Group in partnership with major lighting manufacturer Philips in support of the campaign’s argument that major energy savings can be achieved virtually overnight at relatively little cost .

Key findings from the report other than th energy savings, indicate that the lifespan of the LED lighting trialled ranges from 50 000 to 100 000 hours, indicating a high return on investment, that it was found to be a durable technology with a minimal for repairs and a failure rate of LED products over 6 000 hours around 1%, compared, for example, to around 10% for conventional lighting over a similar time period. The trial concludes that LEDs are now mature enough for scale-up in most outdoor applications.

The LED market is at a tipping point, say te report’s authors, with white light LEDs (used in outdoor lighting) at the early stage of the technology curve. The Climate Group and Philips are calling governments to catalyse the scale-up of LEDs in cities and invest now in order to capitalise on this and create a significant amount of high-value jobs across the world and to establish an international low carbon lighting standard, ensuring that citizens worldwide have access to energy efficient outdoor lighting..

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, commented “All new public lighting – both street lighting and in public buildings – should be LED by 2015, with the aim of all public lighting being LED by 2020. We will be working to recruit a leadership group of city, state and national governments to adopt this and report on progress on an annual basis over the next three years”.