What do the cities of Albertslund (Denmark), Birmingham (UK), Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Hódmezővásárhely (Hungary), Lyon (France), Mechelen (Belgium) and Tilburg (The Netherlands) have in common? They have all embraced LED lighting technology for public spaces and buildings and are now enjoying the benefits of advanced technology over solutions of the past. By switching to LED lighting, European municipalities can reduce their CO2 footprints and electricity bills, while improving the quality of public lighting for their citizens. For these reasons, many European cities are now envisaging to make the transition to innovative LED lighting solutions.
The European Commission has just issued a report to help cities shift to LED lighting. "Lighting the Cities" provides guidelines on how to prepare for the transition to LED – assessing the status quo, engaging with stakeholders, etc– and on how to make the transition, from scoping the market for good-quality products, to securing financing and advancing with procurement. The report aims in particular at cities still considering their first LED lighting projects or having limited experience in this field. The guidelines were compiled by a dedicated Task Force and are based on concrete experiences of LED lighting deployment in selected European cities.
The benefits for cities and citizens could be multiple. LED offers more controllable and higher quality light, enhanced visual performance and improves the ambiance and safety of urban environments. LED lighting can also make our cities 'greener' by saving on lighting energy and by reducing costs compared to existing lighting infrastructures. As lighting accounts for about 50% of the electricity consumption in our cities, the deployment of intelligent LED lighting solutions will play a major role in the reduction of urban carbon footprints and the move to smarter cities.
European cities have the potential to become lead markets for speeding up the wider deployment of LED lighting. The more European cities take the plunge and embrace this lighting innovation, the more citizens and businesses can be persuaded that LED is the way forward when it comes to lighting.