New York City is the most populous city in USA with more than 8 million inhabitants. And such a big city really needs to be well illuminated. Currently, there are 250,000 traditional streetlights with bulbs installed. But this is going to change very soon - thanks to a new PlaNYC initiative, published lately on the New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's official website. This initiative contains the "comprehensive, long-term sustainability program". The aim of this program is "to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from City government operations 30% by 2017."
According to the plan, the use of LED lights will save $14 million in taxpayer dollars - $6 million will be saved in energy costs and $8 million in maintenance costs.
The operation time of LED lights is about 20 years - a huge difference from the lifespan of the high-pressure sodium lights currently installed, which, moreover, need replacing around every six years.
Tests for these LED lights began as early as 2008. Whole the transition is divided into three phases, the very last one is supposed to be finished by 2017.
Despite having the world´s biggest project, New York is hardly the first city to change the public lighting system.
Recently, the city of Los Angeles has replaced over 141,000 streetlights with LEDs. The city says savings have so far outstripped projections (63% cost reduction compared to the forecast 40%), and light pollution is much reduced because LEDs can be better directed, preventing unintended light leakage.