India, however, is about to one-up the US in a major way.
Inhabitat reports that the country is embarking on what might just be the biggest LED streetlight retrofit in the world, with a whopping total of 20 million bulbs. Cleantechnica puts the figure even higher, at 35 million lights, with savings of somewhere around 9000 million kWh of electricity and $850 million each year.
That's impressive stuff. Much like the impending eclipse of the incandescent lightbulb in our homes—driven, in part, by the economies of scale that happen when retailers like Ikea phase out incandescents and go all in for efficiency—the fact that the second most populous country on earth is going for 100% LEDs should dramatically increase adoption elsewhere too.
So next time you hear naysayers in the US whine that India and China are going to do nothing while we sacrifice, you might want to tell them to broaden their horizons. Ambitious, nation-wide initiatives like this will be a huge boost to the Indian economy, and should be supported by environmentalists and fiscal conservatives alike.