95% of US Cities Satisfied with LED Streetlights
"LED streetlights are transforming cities and municipalities across the US," said Northeast Group. "Not only are LEDs helping save money through reduced energy and maintenance costs, but 95% of the cities and municipalities we surveyed said both they and residents were very happy with the performance and light quality of the new streetlights. Many reported that law enforcement officials in particular had praised the lights for improving visibility and public safety. The success of these LED projects is also helping to set the stage for more advanced 'smart' street lighting systems, which will reduce energy consumption by a further 20-30%. In total, the LED and smart street lighting markets are expected to reach a cumulative $4.7 billion in the US by 2025."
But there are also some challenges facing the market. The survey revealed that 45% of the respondents had funded their LED streetlight projects almost entirely with stimulus funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). A further 36% relied on ARRA funding or other grants for at least a portion of their financing. As this stimulus funding recedes, financing for future LED streetlight projects has been more difficult to secure, despite the success of early projects. However, the price of LED streetlights is steadily falling and on track to hit parity with legacy technology within a few years. As a result, the payback period for these projects is becoming more favorable and within the reaches of budget-constrained cities and municipalities. As the LED streetlight business case continues to improve, the number of projects is expected to expand rapidly in the coming years.
Northeast Group's study identified nearly 400 US cities and municipalities that had either already begun or had considered installing LED streetlights. After conducting interviews with nearly 100 of them, the survey was able to draw conclusions such as the actual savings captured by pilot projects and full deployments, the public reaction, the most common financing mechanisms, and the vendors serving this market. Northeast Group found that over 25 vendors were already active in the US LED streetlight market and that, with expected strong growth, the market will continue to attract many vendors offering diverse solutions.