Wednesday, January 26, 2011

LED street lights on the national scene

LED street light on William between Division and Fifth

National Geographic has an interesting story about Ann Arbor's LED street lights. I've always been a fan of LED street lights--not only are they more efficient than high pressure sodium lamps, they produce higher quality light too--before reading the article though, I never really knew the difficulties involved for a municipality to switch over to LEDs. Specifically, most street lights are owned by utilities and unmetered. When Ann Arbor began switching out its old high pressure sodium lights, DET kept billing the city at the same rate. It is interesting to see stumbling blocks a city encounters when trying to switch over to a more environmentally and economically sustainable product.

This brings me to my question: does anyone know what the little blue lights are for on the backs of the street lights on William between Division and Fifth (picture above)? At first I thought they were LED throwies, but upon further examination I think they may be part of the light.


  1. As it turns out, DTE has a rate schedule for metered streetlights if the city owns and maintains the system. I wonder why Ann Arbor didn't negotiate to get on that schedule, since a significant portion of the savings are in maintenance anyway.

    Fortunately, the state is requiring all MI utilities to come up with rates for SSL streetlights so it'll probably be a moot point soon.

  2. Indeed - maintenance is 85% of projected savings (

  3. The article makes it seem like it took the city a few years DTE to set up a separate rate for LED street lights.

  4. decoration - not everything in life has a function

  5. This from my friend that knows a lot about LED street lighting:
    " The fixture in question is the Lumec Leonis Series. "

  6. This is really very good news for led light manufacturers. LED lights have become the most effective and environment friendly lighting source. That’s why most of the governments are preferring the LED lights for street lightening.