Converting Streetlights to LEDs

National Geographic has documented Ann Harbor, MI’s transition from traditional streetlights to high efficiency LED lights.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs could help communities save more than $750 million per year in energy costs. In 2007, Ann Arbor drew national attention with plans to become the first U.S. city to convert all of its downtown streetlights to LED technology but ran into some hurdles along the way. Currently, out of 7,000 streetlight fixtures citywide, Ann Arbor has about 1,400 LEDs, saving an estimated 350,000 kilowatt-hours per year—about equivalent to the amount of electricity used by 50 average Ann Arbor homes. By the end of 2011, Ann Arbor expects to double its streetlight energy savings by installing 500 LED fixtures as replacements for high-wattage streetlights.

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