Four years after beginning a plan to replace normal street lights with LED bulbs, the city of Los Angeles is soon to reap the benefits of the project as others begin to follow their lead.
In swapping more than 140,000 street lights for the more efficient LEDs, in what The Daily Beast reports was the largest street light replacement movement in the world, the city plans on saving to the tune of $10 million dollars annually through both lowered energy usage and maintenance costs.
Not only do the environmentally friendly lights release less energy than standard bulbs, they have extended shelf lives, too. LED lamps can more than double the lifespan of regular bulbs, lasting 10 to 12 years compared to the usual expectations of four to six years. This advantage means the city will replace lights much less than before, saving time and money.
LED adoption spreading across the country
Since Los Angeles began their bulb replacement program in 2009, other major cities across America are following suit. Last year brought the new lights to the city of Baltimore, where 70,000 new LED bulbs will save more than an estimated $2.1 million each year, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Other cities planning on replacing their street lamps include Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and San Antonio, indicative of a nationwide trend.
Bulbs aren't just growing in cities, either. LED bulbs from manufacturers including General Electric, Philips and Cree are spreading in homes and businesses across the country. While the lights currently only represent 18 percent of the lighting market, according to Forbes, their market share is expected to rise to 70 percent of the industry by the year 2020.
LED bulbs' lower heat adds another advantage to adopting the newer format. Offering up to twice as many lumens per watt compared to incandescent bulbs, they can provide brighter light, and consume as little as one-sixth the power of competing lights.