Buenos Aires is switching around 100,000 street lamps to LED technology, cutting energy use by 50%

Buenos Aires LED street lamps
© Philips

Making streets safer at night

Buenos Aires in Argentina is the second biggest city in South-America, with about 13 million people. To light up the city at night requires over 125,000 street lamps. As you can imagine, that uses a lot of energy, and costs a lot of money (both for the energy and maintenance when the lamps need to be replaced). But the city has decided to tackle this problem in a way that should save energy, and thus reduce pollution, make neighborhoods safer at night, and reduce maintenance expenses.

After a public bidding process, Philips has been selected to replace the majority of the city's streetlamps with new LED models. These LED streetlights are expected to reduce energy use by 50% for the city, which means a significant reduction in CO2 emissions, and they offer a lifetime that is 5X longer than conventional lighting.

That's just one city. It's estimated that if cities around the world made a switch to LED tech like Buenos Aires, savings would add up to €130 billion ($180 billion) in reduced energy costs each year. It would also prevent 670 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere each year. Not bad for streetlamps!

Here's another photo showing the city before:

© Philips

And after:

© Philips

The light quality of the LED streetlights also bring benefits:

The white light of LED lighting enables better facial recognition and adequate color perception, not only by the human eye, but also by security cameras, strengthening crime prevention. The improved visibility and security through Philips’ LED lighting will enable people to enjoy public spaces in Buenos Aires. (source)

Philips has made some videos about the conversion project. They're in Spanish, but have English sub-titles. The first one is about the environmental benefits of the LEDs:

This one is about the community benefits:

Via Philips

See also: Philips shows breakthrough 200 lumens/watt warm white LED lamp

Tags: Buenos Aires | Energy Efficiency | Latin America | LEDs | Lighting