Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Sustainable and affordable street lighting

Researchers have developed a new type of street light that is over 20 % more efficient than conventional designs. Estimates show the new fittings are also cheaper to manufacture and maintain, meaning the concept could lead to major savings on both energy and costs.
Sustainable and affordable street lighting
Street lights play an essential role in our towns and cities, helping to ensure the safety of roads and public areas. However, with vast areas to be covered, they can account for as much as 40 % of a city's electricity consumption.

The EU-funded ECOSTREETLIGHT project designed a more efficient street light concept to help counter the rising costs and significant environmental impacts resulting from this level of energy use. Team members looked at three main aspects: integrating a reflector into the bulb, creating a new reflector coating, and improving the design and manufacture of lighting fixtures.

The major advantage of an integrated reflector is to eliminate the need for protection glass, a step that alone increases efficiency of the light bulb by between 10 and 20 %.

The new coating method raises the reflector's efficiency to between 95 and 98 %, compared with typical efficiency today of 80 to 90 %. Meanwhile, a new design for an arc tube specially adapted to street lights increases their efficiency compared to current street lighting arc tubes by up to 10 %. The new lighting components are also smaller, simpler and cheaper to produce and maintain than current solutions, increasing savings even further.

Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important, both for economic and environmental reasons. The ECOSTREETLIGHT team estimates their technologies are 25 % more efficient than existing solutions, which would equal an energy saving of 11 terawatt-hours (TW/h) if all street lights in the EU were replaced with the new lights.

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