How to Choose the Right LED Street Light: 10 Questions You Should Ask
Light-emitting diode LED street lights are a great example of technology and innovation meeting practical application. LED street lighting is more than just a fancy new way to see the darker side of our cities; it’s an energy-efficient, cost-effective solution that can reduce the carbon footprint of our urban centers.
The potential benefits are huge: In addition to reducing energy costs and CO2 emissions, LED street lights have been shown to improve quality of life by reducing crime, noise and light pollution. But as with any technology deployed on this scale, there’s a lot for municipalities to consider when choosing their new lighting standard. In this article, you will learn about the different types of LED street lights available on the market and how they compare to other similar technologies. You will also discover what you need to consider when choosing your new LED street lights — from maintenance costs and light output to housing type and whether or not you have sufficient electrical wiring — so that you can make an informed decision before purchasing anything.
What’s the Difference Between LED and Other Lighting Technologies?
Before we dive into the specifics of different types of LED street lights, it’s important to note the key differences between these and other common street light technologies. LEDs are semiconductors that produce light through an electro-chemical process.
They are made up of a semi-conductor material that feeds off a low-voltage electrical current and produces a high amount of light energy. HID lights are formed by a gas-discharge process that uses high-voltage current to produce very high levels of light energy. Metal halide (MH) lamps are an amalgamation of two different technologies: Incandescent filaments and gas-discharge lamps. They produce light by running an electrical current through a tungsten filament inside a sealed glass container filled with a mixture of xenon and halide gases.
LED Street Light Basics
While the technology behind LED lights is complex, the concept is simple: Electrical current is passed through a semiconductor material to produce light.
In the case of LED street lights, these materials are often rare-earth elements like yttrium, indium, gallium and terbium. The colour of the light emitted from these materials is temperature-dependant — whereas incandescent and halogen lights are basically a single colour — ranging from white (coolest) to pink/red (warmest).
LED street lights differ from other types of street lights in that they don’t require a warm-up time or high-voltage current to produce light. This means that they are capable of producing light immediately after power is supplied.
LED Street Light Types
There is a wide variety of different types of LED street lights on the market. These include: Fluorescent High-intensity discharge (Fluorescent HID) High-intensity discharge (High-intensity discharge HID) Light-emitting diode (LED) Light-emitting diode (LED) with integrated sensors (LIDAR) Metal halide (MH) For the purposes of this article, we will concentrate on the first two types as MH and LIDAR lights have fallen out of favour in recent years.
Fluorescent HID lights have been a common street light technology for a long time, but they are now being replaced by LED lights due to their higher efficiency. HID lights are very similar to fluorescent lights but are more efficient, requiring less energy to produce the same amount of light.
LED street lights produce light by passing an electrical current through a semi-conductive material, whereas HID lights produce light by running an electrical current through a tungsten filament.
How to Choose Your LED Street Lights?
Light Output and Quality– A good place to start when choosing your new street lights is to understand how much light output you need. How much light do you need in order to make the streets safer for pedestrians, drivers and people living in the area? What is the minimum level of light needed to prevent crime? As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want at least 10-30 lux (a unit of measure for light intensity) of light in order to reduce crime and promote public safety. You’ll also want to take into account the colour of the light being emitted by your new lights — warm white light is recommended, especially in populated areas — as well as the quality of light (colour rendition and uniformity).
Maintenance Costs– When judging the maintenance costs of various types of street lights, you’ll want to be sure you’re choosing a model that is simple to maintain. Fluorescent lights, for example, have a ballast that needs to be replaced every five years and a starter that needs replacing every seven to 10 years. HID lights, on the other hand, have a ballast that needs to be replaced every 10 years. LED lights, on the other hand, don’t require any ballast replacements and have a lifespan of 25 years or more. When calculating maintenance costs, you should also take into account labour costs for installing, maintaining and repairing your LED lights.
Environmental Conditions– Environmental conditions like rainfall, snowfall and temperature fluctuations can have a significant impact on the lifespan of your new street lights. Street lights that are designed to withstand extreme climatic conditions are generally more expensive, but they are also worth the investment if they end up paying for themselves in the long run. When choosing your new street lights, be sure to select a model that is designed to withstand the harshest weather conditions so that you don’t have to replace them prematurely.
Darkness Levels– Many municipalities will also factor in the darkness levels of their city when choosing new street lights. You’ll want to choose a type of street light that produces a specific amount of light in order to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions without shining too much light on your neighbours.
Housing Type– Before choosing your new street lights, you’ll want to consider the architectural design of the buildings in the area. Some street lights are designed to be mounted on top of buildings, whereas others are built with a foot-post for ground-level installation. You should also take into account the surrounding foliage and trees, as some types of street lights don’t work well when surrounded by foliage.
Electrical Wiring– Finally, you should consider the electrical wiring in the area when choosing your new street lights. If you need a specific type of wiring to power your new lights, make sure you select a street light model that is compatible with the type of wiring in your area.
Environmental Conditions and Darkness Levels
Before choosing your new LED street lights, you should take into account the environmental conditions of your city. You’ll want street lights that can withstand extreme temperatures, heavy rain, snow and other weather conditions.
Environmental conditions also play a role in determining how much light you need in your city.
In general, you need at least 10-30 lux (a unit of measure for light intensity) of light in order to reduce crime and promote public safety.
And, more light is better: up to a point. There’s a difference between enough light and too much light. When streets are overly illuminated, human health can be negatively impacted. Excess light can disrupt circadian rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, anxiety, depression and other health issues.
Housing Type and Electrical Wiring
Before choosing your new street lights, you’ll also want to consider the architectural design of the buildings in the area. Some street lights are designed to be mounted on top of buildings with a foot-post for ground-level installation.
You should also take into account the surrounding foliage and trees, as some types of street lights don’t work well when surrounded by foliage. When choosing your new street lights, you should also take into account the electrical wiring in the area.
If you need a specific type of wiring to power your new lights, make sure you select a street light model that is compatible with the type of wiring in your area.
How to Find the Right Company to Help You Install Street Lights?
The first step is to determine what type of LED street lights you want. There are many different types to choose from, so you should choose carefully.
Next, you should look at a few different businesses that sell and install these lights to see if they are the right choice for you. You should look at online consumer reviews to find a company that has a lot of positive reviews.
Finally, you should compare several companies to find the best price on street lights. You can then move forward with the installation once you’ve chosen a company. You should look at things like price, warranty, and customer service when choosing a company.
Cultural Practices and Quality of Life Improvement Estimates
Before choosing your new LED street lights, you should take into account cultural practices such as religious traditions that may prohibit the use of certain types of street lights.
You should also research the advantages that LED street lights have been shown to have on communities: Reduced crime, improved quality of life, and increased safety.
Market Opportunities of LED Street Light
A recent report from the National Association of Home Builders found that home buyers are increasingly interested in energy efficiency, and that LED street lights are a major component of this trend.
In fact, more than 90% of the new homes built in the U.S. over the last three years have been fitted with LED lighting, compared to just 10% in 2021. The benefit of LED street lights is that they can help save money and minimise the environmental impact of municipal energy production.
If you are interested in saving money on your energy bills (and ideally, at the same time helping the environment), then LED street lights should be your top choice for lighting solutions.
LED street lights have a lot to offer, not only in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but also in terms of quality of light. These lights have come a long way since their inception in the mid-1990s, and they’re now one of the most efficient and cost-effective types of lighting around.
While LEDs may not be as popular as they once were, they’ve gained a lot of momentum and are becoming ever more popular due to their many benefits. From energy efficiency and cost-effectiveness to light quality and lifespan, LEDs have a lot to offer.