Posts Tagged ‘department of energy’

LED Streetlights Come to Town, Saving San Francisco a Couple Bucks a Month Each

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

See yesterday’s news conference in the “crime-riddenTenderloin / Adam’s Block area concerning Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights here with photos taken by Bill Wilson, and read all about this new technology here. The United States Department of Energy and PG&E have recently helped San Francisco conduct a beauty contest of competing brands of LED lights – read the gritty nitty here (.pdf, you might need to right click, Save File As… or whatever).

The upshot is that it’s not really worth pulling out existing street lighting to install LED lights. You can save a few bucks a month in electricity by converting a streetlight to LED and there are other benefits as well, so it appears we’ll eventually, slowly convert over with the hope that prices of these new kind of bulbs will go down. 

Take a look at the Before and After:

That’s a scene from the test in Outer Sunset. The first shot is lit with your typical High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlight. See how everything looks yellow, just like the background of all your nighttime photos taken outside? That’s due to sodium’s low color temperature, around 2000K or so. The same area lit by LED shows a more natural look, probably 4000-something Kelvin. If LED’s do nothing else, they’ll improve night photography in San Francisco.   

And here are the LEDs in action:

Hello lamppost,
What cha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your diodes glowing.

And speaking of the DoE, big ups to America’s new Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu. He just recently labored as a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and he used to be the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

More deets about the new lights in San Francisco after the jump.