City Picks LED Design For New Street Lights
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There are more than 300,000 street lights in New York City and every 40 years or so the Big Apple runs an international design contest looking for ways to improve upon those lights.
The winner of the most recent contest was just announced. It’s an LED or light emitting diode street and optional pedestrian light post designed by the Office for Visual Interaction (OVI). It not only looks cooler and is more environmentally-friendly than the current model, but developers say they should eliminate dark spots commonly found in between current light posts.
“Overall, it will feel very even, it will have an easier approach, not so much glare,” says Enrique Peiniger of OVI. “Nowadays you catch a lot of glare. We break it down and have good glare control.”
That’s made possible by both diffusing the light more efficiently and since many little LEDs would take the place of the one high-pressure sodium bulb used today, each LED can be aimed to beam light at a wider angle. The LED developers at the Lighting Science Group Corporation say while the bulbs will have the potential to change color, that's not in the immediate plans, but they will be greener in one sense.
“To give you an idea, we can reduce energy consumption at each street lamp by about 25 to 30 percent immediately. That's just one-to-one comparison,” says Govi Rao of the Lighting Science Group Corporation. “We also have the energy savings because of the control systems. You can turn it on, turn it off, dim it down as the ambient lighting increases or decreases.”
Those working on the pilot project insist the new system could potentially save the city loads of money not just because of the energy efficiency but also because they should require a lot less maintenance.
“If you ask the city, they're probably changing out some light, somewhere every day. That will go away,” says Rao. “So now you have labor savings, and the cost of fuel driving around finding all these broken lights that is a significant saving and I believe that is, if not larger than the energy savings, it's equal to it.”
Representatives from the city told NY1 by phone that the lights will be put up somewhere in the city as part of the test in about a year, though just where hasn't been decided yet.