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In a move to dramatically improve the city’s energy profile as well as the light quality, Los Angeles recently completed the largest LED streetlight replacement project not just in the U.S., but throughout the world.

Forbes reported that, of the more than 141,089 LED street lights installed in Los Angeles, Cree’s XSP series and LEDway series LED lamps, along with LED fixtures from a Philips subsidiary, are now illuminating the city’s roadways at night. Before the installation of the LED fixtures began in 2009, the City of Los Angeles, which is the second largest city in the U.S., consumed 168 gigawatts of electricity a year, costing tax payers $15 million annually and emitting 110,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas pollutants. By installing LED lamps, the city saves $7 million a year, reduces its energy use by 63.1 percent and reduces emissions by 47,583 metric tons. As the program matures, the savings are expected to grow – not to mention the additional projected $2.5 million in annual savings as a result from reduced maintenance costs.

“Completing the largest LED streetlight retrofit project is a win-win-win,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This project cuts L.A.’s energy use by more than two-thirds, saves taxpayers millions of dollars and reduces L.A.’s carbon emissions by more than 47,000 metric tons every year.”

And that is the result of just the first phase of the City of Los Angeles plans. Partnered with the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and the Clinton Climate Initiative, Los Angeles has set an example to other cities to adopt similar measures by installing the best LED lights.

“Mayor Villaraigosa understands that if we green our cities, we can green our planet,” said President Bill Clinton. “Individually, projects like the LED streetlights program can transform a community. Collectivity, they can set new global standard for positive urban development.”

Following L.A.’s lead, Las Vegas recently installed 42,000 LED street lights. San Antonio announced plans to install 20,000 LED street lights while Austin, Texas, plans to install even more – 35,000. Navigant Research predicts that sales of LED street lights will increase from fewer than 3 million in 2012 to an excess of 17 million by 2020.

The Los Angeles retrofit cost $57 million distributed over four years, funded mainly by a $40 million dollar loan originated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a utility owned by the city. The energy savings will pay down the loan entirely over a seven-year period. After it is paid, the city will save more than $10 million each year, exceeding L.A.’s goal of 63 percent energy efficiency.

The second phase will be replacing 70,000 decorative street lamps with LED fixtures.

Cree’s LED street lights
Employing  the NanoOptic® Precision Delivery Grid™,  which improves overall optical efficiency by 15 percent, Cree’s XSP series LED street light delivers up to 100 lumens per watt. In addition, it delivers twice as lumens per dollar when compared to previous LED streetlights. Complete is six different configurations, the XSP series is designed to replace high pressure sodium fixtures. Not only do they reduce maintenance, but they exceed 50 percent energy savings without compromising the look and feel of a cobrahead fixture.

The LEDway series lights are completely customizable and can be utilized in both retrofit and new construction scenarios. Available in up to 120 LEDs in 10 LED increments, each fixture comes with unparalleled versatility. Numerous features including flexible drive currents and more than 20 optical currents, the LEDway series is designed specifically for roadway and street applications.