LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles has become the first city in the world to successfully complete the world’s most ambitious streetlight conversion project. There are now more than 100,000 streetlights in
6th Street Bridge after LED streetlight conversion
In 2009, former L.A Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and The Bureau of Street Lighting embarked on an ambitious LED conversion program, and they retrofitted 140,000 streetlights with the more cost efficient light emitting diodes- or LED’s. Prior to the installation of LED’s, the city’s streetlights amounted to 168 gigawatt hours of electricity, which cost taxpayers $15 million each year while also emitting 110,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
These new streetlights will save the city about $10 million a year in taxes, as well as minimize the emission of carbon dioxide by 47,000 metric tons a year. LED’s will also reduce energy use by 63.1 percent.
According to Council member Paul Krekorian, 53, “
Los Angeles is widely known as a center of innovation with a forward-looking commitment to sustainability, and this project is a great example of how we've earned that reputation.”
He further praised the Bureau of Street Light by saying that "The Bureau of Street Lighting's LED conversion program will save taxpayers money and enhance public safety, providing better lighting at less cost, while at the same time significantly reducing our carbon footprint. What we have done will be a model for cities across the
United States and around the world. It is an inspiring example of how, even in difficult times, we can find creative solutions that allow city government to provide better services while still reducing costs."
The City of Los Angeles owns and operates the nation’s second-largest street lighting system that consists of 210,000 streetlights (including 70,000 decorative street lamps that will be retrofitted in a second phase) anchored along 4,500 miles of illuminated streets. With LED streetlights, the cost of maintenance is also lowered. In 2008, prior to LED installation, pre-
Los Angeles logged 70,000 street light repairs and maintenance events, but in 2012, maintenance and repair events fell to 46,300. LED lights are also claimed to provide stronger visibility to residents, and is recommended strongly by the police department.
“Completing the largest LED streetlight retrofit project is a win-win-win,” said former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “This project cuts LA’s energy use by more than two-thirds, saves taxpayers millions of dollars, and reduces LA’s carbon emissions by more than 47,000 metric tons every year.”
Los Angeles has now retrofitted 141,089 street lights with LED bulbs, with the support of the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40). President Bill Clinton commented on the completion of the largest light- emitting diode (LED) street light replacement program in the world, and the promise it holds for developing green, urban development, by saying that “Mayor Villaraigosa understands that if we green our cities, we can green our planet.”
“Individually, projects like the LED streetlights program can transform a community. Collectivity, they can set new global standard for positive urban development,” he added.