LED streetlights are transforming urban infrastructure and enabling smart city applications in many cities around the world. Cities and towns have successfully upgraded from traditional High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights to the latest in LED technology improving public safety, reducing energy consumption, and lowering maintenance costs.

The Chicago Smart Lighting Program

The Chicago Smart Lighting Program is one of the largest municipal-led streetlighting modernization programs in the country, with a goal to replace over 270,000 HPS streetlights with energy-efficient LED streetlights. By the end of 2021, the city had already installed over 230,000 LED streetlights, which has resulted in significant energy and maintenance savings. This significant cost savings with street lighting means that the city can focus on other critical infrastructure needs, such as improving roads and bridges.

Smart City Applications Enabled by LED Streetlights

Apart from energy savings and maintenance reduction, LED streetlights have also enabled several smart city applications. Using attachable nodes, LED streetlights can be connected to a wireless network that enables the city to control and monitor their lighting assets remotely. This allows the city to dim or brighten the lights depending on the time of day or the level of activity in a particular area. This not only improves energy efficiency but also enhances public safety.

LED streetlights have also made it easier for cities to integrate other technologies, such as sensors and cameras. By utilizing the LED streetlights as an open IoT enabled platform, cities can install a variety of sensors that monitor air quality, temperature, traffic patterns and noise levels (including locating and reporting gun shots). These sensors collect data and transmit it to the city’s data center, where it can be analyzed and used to make informed decisions about urban planning and resource allocation. The cameras installed on the LED streetlights can also be used for surveillance and security purposes, enhancing public safety.

Benefits of LED Streetlights

LED streetlights provide better visibility and color rendering, which enhances public safety and reduces accidents. LED streetlights are also more environmentally friendly than traditional lighting systems. They produce less carbon dioxide emissions and contain no hazardous materials such as mercury, which can harm the environment and public health. LED streetlights are also more durable than traditional lighting systems and have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements. And of course, the energy savings.

Other Cities Adopting LED Streetlights

In addition to the Chicago Smart Lighting Program, other cities have also adopted LED streetlights and reaped similar benefits. For instance, Los Angeles has installed over 215,000 LED streetlights, resulting in an estimated annual energy savings of $9 million. Memphis is in the process of switching to LED streetlights and will reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs by over 60%.

LED streetlights have enabled smart city applications that have transformed urban infrastructure and improved the lives of city residents. LED streetlights offer several benefits over traditional lighting systems, including better visibility, color rendering, and environmental sustainability. With more and more cities adopting LED streetlights, it is clear that this technology is the future of urban lighting infrastructure.

If your city has not yet adopted LED streetlights, it is time to consider doing so. Not only will you save money on energy and maintenance costs, but you will also enhance public safety, improve visibility, and reduce your environmental impact. As the Chicago Smart Lighting Program has shown, the benefits of LED streetlights are significant and far-reaching, making it a smart investment for any city.

For more information on how LEOTEK can assist you with your lighting needs, contact us today.

Charles Bellemare Marketing Director LEOTEK




Charles Bellemare is the Director of Marketing for LEOTEK Electronics.