L.A. to Green Streetlights in the Largest LED Retrofit to Date

L.A. to Green Streetlights in the Largest LED Retrofit to Date

Los Angeles' 140,000 streetlight fixtures will be replaced with LED units over the next five years with help from the Clinton Climate Initiative in the most extensive municipal green lighting retrofit thus far.

Former president Bill Clinton announced the project this week in Los Angeles, where the city's Bureau of Street Lighting will work with the initiative's Outdoor Lighting Program.

The upgraded lighting system is expected to save the city $48 million in energy and maintenance costs and cut carbon emissions by 197,000 tons over a seven-year period. The cost savings accrued during that time are to pay for a loan that will fund the project, according to the initiative. The actual price tag for the retrofit was not disclosed, however.

After paying back the loan, the city is expect to save about $10 million a year in costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by at least 40 percent and cut carbon emissions by about 40,500 tons a year. The initiative estimates the effect is the equivalent of taking 6,700 passenger vehicles off the road annually.

As part of the project, monitoring units will be installed in each of the new streetlights to enable immediate reporting of service failures.

LEDs have a longer lifespan than traditional streetlights and generally last 10 to 12 years, compared to the four to six years for conventional lights.

Los Angeles' broader green lighting and energy efficiency program includes a giveaway of two compact fluorescent light bulbs to each of the 1.2 million households in the city.

The free light bulb program is projected to save up to 240 GWh of energy and prevent the release of 131,000 metric tons of CO2 each year -- the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road or enough energy to power 40,000 homes for a year.

Replacing two traditional incandescent bulbs with the CFLs is also expected to prevent the burning of 800 pounds of coal and the emissions resulting from that expenditure, as well as saving $61.3 million in fuel costs for generating electricity. Each household is expected to save $68 in energy charges over the life of the bulbs.