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.