Should Cities Invest in Smart Lights and LED Parking Lot Lighting Upgrades?

Street lights are easy to take for granted. In a way, they’re designed to be so. Working correctly, these fixtures should blend seamlessly into the fabric of the city, making the streets safer for drivers pedestrians without drawing attention to themselves.

The same goes for lights in parking lots and other public spaces. They’re a valuable and necessary city asset, but not one we pay much attention to.

But public lighting is worth talking about. There are about 280 million streetlights in use around the world, and the number is only going to increase as towns evolve into cities and cities into metropolises.

Why Spend Millions on an LED Parking Lot Lighting Upgrade?

Believe it or not, street and parking lot lighting has been subject to serious debate in some cities. The question of whether to spend taxpayer dollars on energy-efficient LED parking lot lighting upgrades is not one taken lightly.

Upgrading isn’t cheap, after all. But the expenditure leads to significant cost savings over time. That’s not just the energy efficiency LED installation company talking — it’s a fact. LED lights last longer and use less energy than incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs, which makes a big difference when you’re talking about lights numbering in the hundreds or thousands.

In one recent example, the town of Amherstburg, Ontario, with a population under 25,000, just announced it is spending $1.2 million on such a project. But if the town’s math is right, that investment will pay off in under ten years.

Smart Lights, Smart Poles…Smart Decision?

Some cities have taken their high-tech lighting a step further. Companies like Philips Lighting are starting to come out with so-called smart poles — a fixture that not only provides energy-efficient lighting, but mobile connectivity as well.

Frankly, that’s a big of a tougher sell than a simple LED parking lot lighting upgrade. It’s cool to see cities providing connectivity options to its citizens, but smart poles? Is a fixture known for attracting the bumpers of errant vehicles really the best place to stick a pricey wireless technology?

Plus, the more you stick on top of that pole, the greater the chance something is going to break down and need repair. The whole point of going LED was to reduce maintenance costs. Do we need to give the poor city workers another reason to sit atop the pole?

Smart poles aside, it’s a good time to be an energy efficiency LED installation company. Cities all over the country are starting to convert their old public lighting to something a bit more efficient. The future is bright.