Much of the press surrounding the growing popularity and usage of LED lighting across the U.S. has focused on homes and businesses. However, it might be the municipality’s usage of LEDs that point to the industry’s future. In order to get a better feel for how America’s cities and towns have made the move to LED lighting, let’s check out the examples of Raleigh, North Carolina and Honolulu, Hawaii.
It might come as a surprise, but this city of 423,179 in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, was one of the first in America to install LED-based lighting. In 2007, Raleigh teamed up with the LED maker Cree for the LED City program. With this program, Raleigh committed to using LED lighting for all renovations and new projects in order to increase sustainability and lower costs. According to the city, this innovative partnership led to $215,000 in savings in energy and maintenance annually. The initial project was so successful, that in 2012 Raleigh expanded the project to include streetlights in five neighborhoods
After the initial success in Raleigh, many U.S. towns and cities followed their example. One of note is Honolulu, Hawaii’s most populous city and state capital. In a major step, the City and County of Honolulu has committed to replace all 51,700 of Oahu’s city-owned streetlights. According to experts, this move not only makes Honolulu environmentally friendly but also, it will shave an impressive $3 million a year in both energy and maintenance costs for local taxpayers.