During 2012, Carnegie Mellon’s Remaking Cities Institute (RCI) led a huge project that included replacing 3,300 sodium and mercury vapor streetlights with LED bulbs in more than 30 business districts. Now, the RCI plans to help put LEDs in 90 Pittsburgh residential neighborhoods.
The Institute will create and propose recommendations, as well as technical specs, for more than 37,000 neighborhood streetlights that use LED bulbs. For the new project, RCI will assess the results achieved during 2012 within the business districts that switched to LEDs. Measurements will include how the LEDs affected security, traffic, crime and cost savings, according to RCI Director Don Carter, the study’s principal investigator.
Carter mentioned that while LEDs are more expensive than sodium vapor bulbs, he believes the research will reveal that the initial phase of the project was a great investment economically, according to www.cmu.edu.
Carter stated that LEDs last 7 – 10 years, while sodium vapor lights only last 2 – 3 years. He also stated that LEDs use approximately 1/7 of the energy, so the initial investment is paid back quickly. Carter also noted that other benefits of LEDs include better directional lighting and less maintenance, as well as improved energy efficiency and safety.
To find out more about the RCI project, visit www.cmu.edu/piper/stories/2015/march/led-project.html.