1 March 2012

Chevron and Bridgelux team on street-light initiative

LED chip and lighting array maker Bridgelux Inc of Livermore, CA, USA and San Francisco-based sustainable energy project developer Chevron Energy Solutions (the energy services division of Chevron USA Inc) have allied to promote LED lighting technologies, with the aim of enabling cities to reduce utility bills and maintenance costs.

Picture: Las Positas Road, Livermore, CA after LED street lighting Installed.

Under the program, Chevron Energy Solutions will upgrade streetlights with LED technology, often at no upfront cost to cities. The LED street-lights require 50% less power and far less maintenance than ordinary streetlights, allowing cities the opportunity to finance the installation with the savings. The LED street-lights also offer better quality of light, improving visibility and increasing safety and security.

Livermore and Dublin, two Northern California cities in Alameda County, are participating in demonstrating the LED technology and have upgraded several of their street-lights with the Bridgelux technology.

Street-lights typically account for 10-40% of a municipality’s energy costs. According to the Clinton Global Climate Initiative, the energy used by street-lights amounts to the third largest use of power by local governments. Many cities in America could see reductions of up to 40% (or as much as $17m in annual energy costs) just by converting their existing conventional street-lights to Bridgelux’s LEDs, it is reckoned.

“All cities are facing a similar fiscal dilemma: they need to upgrade their infrastructure, but lack the capital to move forward,” says Chevron Energy Solutions’ president Jim Davis. “Through this new initiative, we can help cities modernize their infrastructure by financing projects through energy savings. These LED street-lights are making a dramatic difference, but they are just the start of what we can do to help cities save on their energy costs,” he adds.

“We think this could be a successful financing model for many of our infrastructural improvement projects,” comments Dublin’s mayor Tim Sbranti.

The heart of the street-light is an LED lighting module designed to be installed or upgraded quickly and easily into the existing street-light head. Designed by Bridgelux, the module contains the light source and other components most subject to rapid evolution. Bridgelux says that, as the technology advances in energy efficiency and capabilities, it is anticipated that modules could be simply swapped out without having to replace a city’s physical infrastructure.

The module also allows cities the potential of upgrading street-lights in the future to incorporate sensing and networking capabilities, giving city managers tools to control their lights and monitor traffic or remote locations (which is impossible with conventional street-lights).

“LEDs and solid-state lighting represent more than just a technical advance,” says Bridgelux’s CEO Bill Watkins. “They will usher in new business models and capabilities for running our homes, businesses and cities.”

Tags: Bridgelux LEDs GaN-on-Si Street lighting

Visit: www.bridgelux.com

Visit: www.chevronenergy.com

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