Technology Research Area:
LEDs for Street and Area Lighting
Why might LEDs be used for street lighting, and what does that have to do with TVA's mission?
Costs for street and area lighting continue to go up as energy and labor costs rise. Government regulations are forcing utilities to develop a replacement strategy for older mercury vapor lighting and probe start metal halide lighting. While these fixtures have long lamp life, they are not energy efficient.
New light-emitting-diode technology may offer a way to save energy and reduce service visits to change bulbs. LED lighting is expensive, but has shown the potential to lower energy use 67 percent and lower maintenance costs as well.
What is TVA doing about this technology?
TVA is part of a multi-year research project in the TVA region, with demonstrations of LED lighting under way in Knoxville, Cookeville, Camden and Chattanooga. Electric Power Research Institute is conducting similar evaluations in other parts of the country.
Based on this research, best practices are being developed to help TVA, power distributors and consumers better manage the quality of outdoor lighting systems. To enable meaningful comparisons, all demonstrations are using a similar evaluation and deployment process.
The research will allow participating distributors of TVA power to make fact-based choices from real experience with LED outdoor lighting. Other power distributors will have the opportunity to show LED demonstration sites to customers in their regions. Manufacturers will receive feedback on power system compatibility. Hard data will demonstrate whether LEDs live up to their promise.
What are the possibilities for the use of LEDs in street lighting?
If LEDs prove their potential, their use would provide street lighting that more accurately renders colors, lowers energy consumption, lowers maintenance costs and reduces light pollution.