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LEDs for Public Lighting Systems

In a society that has become increasingly aware of how their actions today will affect the environment tomorrow, choices for public lighting systems may undergo some serious changes. A University of Pittsburgh study about the best light bulb for street lamps (determined by energy expenditure, environmental impact, cost and lifespan) has heralded LED lights as the best choice in creating cities that are more green-friendly.

Although many groups already believed that LED bulbs were the best for the job, this is the first study in which they were analyzed fresh from the factory until they died out. The comparison was against HPS lights (high-pressure sodium) – those used in stadiums and most cities nationwide, as well as Induction lights. But while the HPS may be more cost-efficient, the LED lights were determined to consume half of the electricity, last 5 times longer and, most importantly, produce more light. The induction lights, on the other hand, were more energy-efficient and also more cost-efficient. However, they may have more of a negative impact on the environment in the long run.

While several US cities have already jumped on the LED bandwagon, after this study, the city of Pittsburgh has begun a move towards replacing 40,000 of their HPS lights with the LED lights. Officials estimate that replacing the lights could save the city a bundle, including $1 million in energy costs and $700,000 in maintenance, while simultaneously decreasing the city’s carbon emissions by 6,818 metric tons.

But with these findings, experts are not hesitant to say that the LED lights still need some work, particularly in the manufacturing arena, where it outdid the other bulbs in terms of negative health and environmental effects. It wasn’t until after the manufacturing process was completed that the LED light became a better “green” choice.

With a little bit of work and some tweaking, the LED light could prove to be a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly change that cities across the United States will be inspired to make for their citizens.

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