LEDs Light Up Boston Common

by | Nov 25, 2009

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LEDcitylogoThe city of Boston continues its “green” city initiatives to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by upgrading streetlights with new light-emitting diode (LED) lighting on the Boston Common. The city recently installed LED lights along the “Mayor’s Walk” to showcase the technology and solicit community input.

Boston has also joined the national LED City program, an international initiative led by Cree, a manufacturer of LED lighting, to promote energy-efficient LED lighting. LED streetlights use less than half of the energy and last three to four times longer than traditional streetlights, which reduce replacement costs and the incidence of unlit streets, according to the city.

Currently, Boston’s streetlights generate 24,000 tons of carbon (CO2e) emissions annually, which accounts for about 8 percent of all municipal emissions. By converting to LED technology the city estimates it would cut its emissions from streetlights by about half.

It’s also expected to reduce lighting costs. As an example, more than 11,000 traffic signals and 1,800 pedestrian crossing lights in Boston were gradually replaced with LEDs over the past ten years, which has saved the city nearly $400,000 annually in energy costs.

Other cities across the nation are also making the move to LED lighting to reduce cost, energy and carbon emissions. As an example, the city of Flint, Michigan, which was recently awarded a $1.1-million stimulus grant for energy-efficient improvements, plans to spend part of the money on a streetlight LED retrofit, reports MLive.com.

In February, the city of Los Angeles announced it was spending $57 million to retrofit 140,000 streetlights with LED bulbs, which was touted as the nation’s biggest lighting retrofit programs.

Federal stimulus funding also produced a flurry of LED streetlight retrofits across the nation including in Seattle, Wash., Arlington Heights, Ill., and Boise, Idaho.

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