Sydney's light-bulb moment

The LED [light-emitting diode] lighting programme introduced by Sydney, Australia, has won accolades for leadership and innovation at the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia 2014 annual awards. Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said the LED lighting programme has already reduced associated emissions and energy use by over 40 per cent. She explained that the programme was responsible for replacing 6,450 conventional lights, which will help save nearly 8,00,000 dollars a year in electricity bills and maintenance costs for the city!

According to the Lord Mayor, Sydney was the first city in Australia to initiate the programme of installing new LED street lights and park lights across its entire city centre, joining major global cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Following Sydney’s lead, the New South Wales government is encouraging other councils to replace conven-tional street lights with LEDs. 

LED lamps emit a brighter white light, and are longer-lasting and significantly more energy-efficient compared to incandescent light bulbs, which have been in use since the 19th Public lighting, accounting for a third of the city of Sydney’s annual electricity use and 30 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions. The new LEDs will reduce emissions by 2,860 tonnes each year – the equivalent of taking 940 cars off the road. Sydney has set itself the ambitious target of reducing emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.

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