Looking for proof that LEDs are energy-efficient? Pay a visit to Keynsham, near Bristol, where the council has installed Britain’s first LED-powered street lights. Used to illuminate the Hicks Gate roundabout, the new lights will save taxpayers £4,500 a year. The environment will benefit too as annual carbon emissions are reduced by 25 tonnes.

So how are these cost and energy savings quantified? The answer’s twofold. The sodium lights used previously were 250 watt whereas the LEDs are 169 watt, reducing energy use by 40%. The new lights also adjust their brightness at certain times of the day, saving yet more power.

The new lights are safer too. Whether on a bike, in a car or walking, your route is lit more clearly by these bright white LEDs. Improved visibility means fewer traffic accidents and possibly reduced street crime too.

Each lamp is made up of over 80 bulbs, each lasting 60,000 hours – or 16 years, if used 10 hours a day. In just 8 years, they’ll have paid for themselves!

It’s not just in the UK that LEDs are being rolled out like this. In San Francisco, a city-wide project is underway to replace 18,500 street lights with LED fixtures. Again, the initial cost may seem expensive, but the long-term rewards for its inhabitants easily outshine this one negative.

And why stop at roads? As time goes by, the public sector will surely use LEDs in other areas of society too. Everywhere from bus stations to car parks could utilise such technology, making them safer for the public, better for the environment and cheaper for the taxpayer.

It will be years before LEDs are used everywhere, of course, but you can play your own part in speeding up the process. Join the revolution today and install LED lights in your home, if you haven’t already. After all, change has to start from within!

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