LED lighting moves to centre stage in the debate on climate change

LED lighting is moving to centre stage in the energy-saving sphere as the world prepares for the decisive climate change conference in November.

Image of LED light
The Climate Group is pushing for energy-saving lighting – ‘LED = Low Emissions Delivered’

This week, the Climate Group has launched a new global campaign for every city to adopt LED street lighting within ten years and so drastically reduce CO2 emissions.

Marking Climate Week NYC, the pressure group released a series of reports, leading with ‘The Big Switch: Why it’s time to scale up LED street lighting’ with dramatic headline figures showing the exceptional benefits of mass switching.

Heralding the new campaign – ‘LED = Low Emissions Delivered’ – Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber said that that the technology is “the lowest of the low hanging fruit” for local governments making the transition to low carbon futures.

LED lighting retrofits

This is something that we have been consistently championing at SaveMoneyCutCarbon. The maturity of LED lighting technology and its crystal clear benefits both in terms of reduced costs and CO2 emissions have always made it a “no brainer” for the team here.

And the benefits are also appreciated by our clients and partners, from hotel groups saving hundreds of thousands of £s a year with LED lighting retrofits and other energy-saving solutions to schools, warehouses, offices and retail stores all cutting costs and reducing carbon emissions.

The Climate Group is underlining how important it is for governments at local and national level together with financial institutions to step up and support the drive for LED adoption.

The non-profit Climate Group used the New York venue as an example of what can be saved both in costs and carbon emissions. The group’s research partnership with Philips Lighting from 2012 in big cities like New York as well as London, Sydney and Kolkata demonstrated that LED streetlights can save 50-70% in energy consumption.

Smart lighting controls

What’s more, if smart controls are added, this figure rises to 80%. New York should save around $14 million in energy and maintenance costs up to 2017 from the deployment of 250,000 street lighting.

The Climate Group report on the research suggests that up to $6 billion could be saved if every exterior light was replaced with LED versions, and reduced carbon emissions equal to taking 8.5 million cars off the road.

Mark Kenber says:

“It’s technically proven, commercially viable, and already resulting in major savings for cities around the world.

“With the number of street lights around the world likely to hit 350 million by 2025, local governments, utilities and financial institutions need to work together to ensure that all new and existing street lights are LED – or of equivalent energy efficiency – by 2025.”

Safer streets

Eric Rondolat, CEO of Philips Lighting, which is supporting the campaign, comments:

“The demand for energy is increasing twice as fast as the annual rate of improvement in energy efficiency, so more ambitious targets are needed. For instance, simply switching conventional street lighting to LED provides an energy saving of around 40-50%.

“If you add connected lighting technologies, such as sensors and software control systems, you save an additional 30% while giving the community better lit, safer streets. So we definitely can meet more ambitious targets while at the same time improving quality of life.”


Mr Rondolat believes that the campaign and Climate Week NYC is a significant marker in preparations for the COP21 climate change conference in Paris from November 30-December 11, adding more urgency for the need to act quickly and decisively.

Mark Kenber reinforces this view: “As an emissions-cutting and money-saving technology, LED street lighting is the big no-brainer. There is no longer any reason why the big switch shouldn’t start today, accelerating adoption in the US and around the world.

“Our global trials and stakeholder consultations have shown that, when it comes to tackling climate change, LEDs are the lowest of the low-hanging fruit and easiest to implement. It’s technically proven, commercially viable, and already resulting in major savings for cities around the world.”



Sign up to receive tips on reducing your energy & water bills, new product news & more.