First U.S City To Be Lit With 100% LEDs: Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is on its way to being the first U.S. city to light up its downtown with 100% LED-based streetlights. The city expects to install more than 1,000 LED streetlights beginning next month. The city anticipates a 3.8-year payback on its initial investment.

The LED lights typically burn five times longer than the bulbs they replace and require less than half the energy. The LED streetlights currently installed in Ann Arbor are by Lumecon, which contain LED light engines from Relume Technologies. The light engines are based on the Cree XLamp LED.

Full implementation of LEDs is projected to cut Ann Arbor’s public lighting energy use in half and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,425 tons of CO2 annually, the equivalent of taking 400 cars off the road for a year. Detroit Edison, Ann Arbor’s local utility provider, will meter the new LED streetlights with the intent to gather sufficient information to develop new LED-based tariffs.

Other North American cities like Raleigh, N.C., and Toronto, have started installing LED streetlights too.

Above is a diagram of the Relume streetlight by Lumecon.

Via: Inhabitat

34 thoughts on “First U.S City To Be Lit With 100% LEDs: Ann Arbor”

  1. Here’s an update from the future:

    Over the course of 6 years since this article was posted, Ann Arbor has converted more than twice as many street lights as the article mentions. The payback time is listed as four years, which is pretty close to the 3.8 projected here in 2008. They say that the 223 lights they are converting this year will save them about $15,000 per year, so the roughly 2,000 they have already converted would be already saving the city around $150,000 per year. They have over 5,000 lights left to convert.

    This page is brilliant for comparing street lighting options:
    It’s true that high-pressure sodium lights have a slightly lower (better) watts-per-lumen rating than LEDs but they come with other drawbacks such as the light quality, colour and the higher maintenance costs due to the significantly shorter lifespan. LEDs have been rapidly improving over the last decade so this may not have been true back in 2008 and it’s likely that this information is already out of date by the time I’m typing it.

  2. LED’s draw less power, leaving more for slot-machines, a good thing! Gamble! don’t make war! Save like Hell to live like assholes! America land of the free, land of the brave, land of the broke, land of high debts with no hope! land of the dying dollar rising prices, higher taxes, fewer jobs, and of all things, LED lighting to find your drunken, drug addicted, way home! All bull Shiite, all black and dreary, cold blue light when we need warmth, sex substituted for love, booze, dope, for success, personal satisfaction! This cold blue light a monument to technology, a revealing of our soulless society, next, we will have artificial foods, all flavor, no nutrition, to go with our 200 mph Cameros, Corvettes on crumbling streets, crumbling freeways good for no more than 30 mph! Where is the Hobbit Village? I need refuge, candle light fireside reading, little rounded doors, half under ground and grown over, hidden by God, wooden interiors, small and cozy, warmed, no glaring fluorescent TV screens, the smell of smoke from wood curling out from a crack in the stone stove,, and warm woolen blankets tucked all round! A life with soul, meaning, value, and a pipe full of aromatic tobacco, a glass of well aged scotch on a side table, and an ample bodied, good natured, life mate sitting across! Please Lord! Let me be born in this age next time around!

  3. Benjamin Snetter

    Please sent detail information for your lights There is some interest in my community in these type of lights. I will also need some examples of these lights to show my Clients.

  4. One big benefit I see will be a reduction in light pollution. The old design let light bleed to the sky, the new ones direct light to the ground where you want it.

  5. New LED tariffs = “We’re going to hike the price of electricity through the roof, using the environment as an excuse, so the cost of using LEDs will be the same as using light bulbs anyway. So cheap light bulbs will be too costly for everyone to run, and everyone will have to buy our expensive LEDs to save on electricity. We’ll make a huge profit both out of electricity hikes and LED sales, and so we the rich will get even richer and the poor will get even poorer.”

  6. Uh, Why don’t we all just turn off the lights after a certain time, say 11:30 to 5:30?
    Right – lets just start a global movement, Here, NOW. – 11:30 Lights out (streetlights, and exceptions in Bar/night club areas.) Who really needs the road to be lit up – it is easier, but if it were dark I would simply drive slower.

  7. We need Population Control, We have reached and passed the worlds amount of people, Time to stop making babies 😉 Anyway to cut back on electricity use in big cities is great—- oh yea and because we cut back on energy use doesn’t mean we have left over energy to use for other things. Just because you have a hybrid car doesn’t mean you should be able to drive more.

  8. this is a great idea and to all the dicks that are scared and plan to shoot them or think that “robots” are going to take over the earth because of this or want to knock it without knowing the facts and just assume to know better than the intelligent ones do the rest of us a favour and go and hang yourself from the highest branch of the biggest tree you can find by the neck untill you and all your seed have been banished from the earth and no longer continue to pollute the world with your inbred half witted slack jawed ideas and rants

  9. foolish move. The best LEDs you can’t even buy yet have not beat the sodium lights most cities use already. The white sodium lights are where a few in-lab LEDs claim to approach but as far as I know those are not sold or proven at this time; even so, the yellow sodium lights are significantly above the white lights and they run for many years as well.
    see wikipedia on the on the different kinds of light bulbs.

  10. JDOG,
    That is only true of cheap leds with poorly designed power supplies. They use half or full wave rectification without filtering necessary to produce constant DC. LEDs provided true constant DC make light as steady and flicker free as incandescents.

  11. THe problem with LED’s is that they flicker on and off 60 times a second and create an unpleasent and somewhat irritating type of light similar to florescents. Hopefully we do not read 3 years from now about the effects of LED’s causing people to be irritated and violent. LOL!

  12. A small percentage will have a failure as long as most of the lights work it will be successful. Whats important is if the new led lights put out as much light as the ones they replaced


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