Posting in Cities
Cree's LED streetlights give a nod to high-design. Now it's working to remove the final obstacle to sway local governments to adopt the technology.
Cree introduced last week new lines of long-lasting LED streetlights with flashy, high-design elements in a bid to coax more local municipalities to adopt the efficient technology. But the upfront cost of LEDs make the investment a tough sell for municipalities, many of which are grappling with tight budgets.
Cree hopes to remove that hurdle. The lighting manufacturer told the WSJ this week it has halved the cost of its light-emitting-diode streetlights. The new Cree outdoor street-light unit will sell for under $200 when bought in volume, company executive Ty Mitchell said. At that price, the new streetlight bulbs would be comparable to conventional high-pressure sodium vacuum technology when -- and here's the main caveat -- maintenance and energy costs are included. Cree is able to cut the cost by producing a more efficient LED chip, allowing the company to use fewer chips in each unit.
The final crux, of course, will be performance. In other words, a cheap, efficient LED streetlight might still be overlooked if it doesn't emit an equal amount of light a good enough quality.
The cost of LED lights has already been cut in half over the past three years. LED lights use only about half the energy of the high-pressure sodium bulbs that light the streets of most U.S. cities. Still, they're twice the cost.
Other LED companies are trying to tap the streetlight market. Last month, I reported Bridgelux teamed up with Chevron Energy Solutions to retrofit streetlight in U.S. cities with LEDs. Until recently, Bridgelux focused on developing and manufacturing silicon-based LED chips and arrays, which are then sold to companies that make lighting systems. Under the partnership with CES, Bridgelux will build LED lighting modules that it has designed to be installed or upgraded quickly into existing streetlight heads.
- Advanced LED lights attempt to break into city markets
- Chevron, Bridgelux to bring LED streetlights to cities
Apr 11, 2012
I'm still waiting for a replacement LED-bulb for videoprojectors. Less heat, superior durability, less noise from the cooling fan (fan can probably even be turned completely off). Due to long lifetime of LED-bulb You only need ONE, and You never have to replace it. Everything else is in place and developed already. So why isn't it available yet?
Kirsten, As a photographer and filmmaker I am very interested in the actual color of all street lights. Not only those awful sodium-vapor but the LED units we may have in the future. So it is with interest that I looked at the photograph that is next to your article. What is it? Is it a street light or is it a close-up photo of some sort of LED array? Although this photo is colorful and interesting, is it an actual Cree street light or just some random stock photo supplied by Cree? When I studied journalism at Baylor we were instructed to include a caption with all photos so why is there no caption here? Thank you. Terry Thomas... the photographer Atlanta, Georgia USA http://www.TerryThomasPhotos.com
1. Try proof-reading your docs 2. It doesn't make any sense when you say maintenance and energy costs are cheaper with LED than sodium vapor
The color temperature of Cree led???s would probably be as in the ones made for torches (flashlights) around 6400-6500 K to give near daylight effect. The MTB of these lamps is about 50,000 hours, which could probably be increased to 100,000 hours. Due to the lower power consumption to light output It would be possible to run using solar charging with banks of batteries inside or at base, and a solar surface area over the pole to give light output during complete cycle of darkness. As these are banks of lamps not just one they would fail one at a time giving plenty of time for replacement without loss of light, if inspected regularly maybe remotely with photo array on roof of vehicle which drove past at night and triggered alarm if light was less from one post compared to others. Ron angel (Design Eng Elect)
Terry, Unfortunately, we don't have a mechanism to provide a caption directly below the photo. However, you bring up a good point. Sometimes, I include a quick description under the Photo credit line and perhaps it should become a permanent feature. As for the photo, this is not of the streetlight, but a closeup of its LED tech to illustrate the light color. I've added another photo (it should load shortly) of its XSP series streetlight. I would include a link to all of the company's LED lighting, but it appears that the photo gallery is no longer showing up on their website. Could be glitch. I'll add another link, if it becomes available again. - Kirsten Korosec
Yes, I do call myself a writer. The graf makes perfect sense. That's not to say I don't make the occasional mistake. We all do. In this case, it makes sense and I stand by it. Here is the graf in question below: "At that price, the new streetlight bulbs would be comparable to conventional high-pressure sodium vacuum technology when ??? and here???s the main caveat ???maintenance and energy costs are included. Let me break this down. The company claims its LED bulbs are comparable in price when you take into account maintenance and energy costs. In other words, Cree is saying their LED bulbs are more efficient, use less energy and require less maintenance. This is important to note because the sticker price of the LED streetlights are more expensive than the conventional models. The company's point is this: When taking factors like energy and maintenance costs into consideration, the price is comparable.