LED Street Lighting: Benefits Of An Extended Life

06/27/2018 | Back to News

Within the last decade, LED technology has significantly improved allowing production costs to be reduced while the efficiency and performance characteristics continue to increase exponentially. Due to these continually progressing improvements, LED technology has become the lighting option of choice for roadway and exterior area lighting. Another major advancement in LED technology is the extensive lifespan of modern systems.

LED fixtures’ useful life spans differ from traditional street lighting fixtures in that traditionally HID lamp and ballasts are used. The lumen output of HID decreases rapidly over time until they fail or “Burn-out”. In contrast, LED systems lumen output diminishes gradually over time, and are often defined with an L70 rating of >100,000 hours. These ratings define the usable light levels of a fixture as a percentage of its original output. For instance, a lamp with an L70 rating of >100,000 hours will be producing 70% of the light out output that it was producing new once in service for 100,000 hours.  This high rating allows for more accurate budgeting for when the fixtures will need to be replaced in order to maintain desired light levels. The useful lifespan for HID lamps is on average 5 years with ballasts needing to be replaced approximately every 10 years. Most modern LED fixtures available today have useful lifespans exceeding 25+ years for normal dusk-to-dawn operation. The following chart illustrates the lumen maintenance curves for the various technologies.

Source: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the Solid-State Lighting Program of the U.S. Department of Energy

The many advancements of LED technology over the last decade has resulted in a viable energy efficient replacement option. Well-designed LED luminaires have high fixture efficacies, optimized color rendering, directional optics, and extensive useful lifespans. These factors allow for the replacement of existing fixtures with LED systems that utilize substantially lower wattages, all while meeting or exceeding the same light levels.

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Installing lower wattage and longer lasting LED street lights reduces energy and maintenance costs by 60-75%. Wendel’s professional, in-house staff will perform a no cost/no pressure Preliminary Assessment of the potential for savings with your community’s street lighting. These same professionals can then design and implement a street lighting upgrade with 100% cost transparency.