United States Smart Infrastructure: LED and Smart Street Lighting

  • ID: 2556838
  • Report
  • Region: United States
  • Northeast Group, LLC
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Light-Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights are quickly transforming the landscape of cities and municipalities across the United States, but still only make up about 1% of the country's more than 50 million streetlights. The next step of advanced smart lighting systems will improve upon the existing benefits of LED streetlights and contribute to cities' growing “smart infrastructure.” This study identified nearly 400 US cities and towns that range from those having considered LED streetlights to those having completed changeovers and experimented with advanced smart lighting systems. After receiving responses from nearly 100 cities and municipalities, Northeast Group's survey results show that LED streetlights are well liked by nearly all stakeholders, that they provide significant cost savings and that there is growing interest in smart lighting systems.

The Northeast Group survey confirms what many LED vendors and consultants have already claimed: the cost savings of LEDs are real and so are the benefits. LED streetlights can improve overall lighting quality while paying for themselves over time. But this report also produced more nuanced findings. For example, energy cost savings on average were reported to be slightly lower than some manufacturers claim and the payback time for installations is highly dependent on context—in many cases the maintenance cost savings are actually the decisive factor rather than energy cost savings.

Additionally, while LED streetlights in almost all cases would pay for themselves before the end of the lifetime of the streetlight, the high upfront costs have meant that many cities were only able to begin installations with the help of federal and state grant money. With the future of these grants uncertain, this casts some doubt on the near-term future of the market. The near-term market for advanced smart lighting systems is even less clear as many cities expressed liability concerns over streetlight dimming and cost-savings analyses are currently less favorable for smart streetlights.

The LED and smart streetlight market is currently at an inflection point. Hundreds of deployments over the past three years have brought this market to the forefront and organizations such as the Department of Energy's Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium are ensuring that key learnings from these projects are spread. Meanwhile, the long-term drivers of reducing energy consumption, improving lighting quality and incorporating lighting into larger smart grid and smart infrastructure systems ensure that this will be a growing market throughout much of this decade. This report provides a snapshot of the current status of both LED and smart streetlights and finds a degree of divergence between the positive response to existing installations and some hesitancy about the future. The results of Northeast Group's survey show that there are no longer significant concerns about public skepticism towards the new lights or about the durability or performance of LED streetlights. In almost all cases cities found few technical issues with LED streetlights and the public reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Yet, the survey also shows that cities remain concerned about financing for future deployments, utility commitment to implementing LED streetlight rates and standards for smart streetlight systems.

The LED and smart streetlight markets are at a critical juncture where cities, state and federal governments and vendors need to assess what has been successful with existing deployments and what hurdles remain. This report focuses a wide lens at the experiences of towns and cities with populations from under 5,000 to nearly 4 million people to assess how this largely untapped market will develop over the next decade and beyond.

Key questions answered in this report:

- What were the average energy and maintenance cost savings for cities and municipalities implementing LED and smart streetlight projects?

- What are the typical break even periods for these projects?

- What are the primary financing mechanisms for these deployments?

- How large will the LED and smart streetlight markets be through 2025?

- Who are the leading vendors in the US LED market and who is poised to lead the growing smart streetlight market?

- Which cities are leading the way in smart streetlight installations and how can other cities emulate them?

- How will smart streetlights fit into larger smart infrastructure plans?
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i. Executive summary
ii. Methodology

1. Introduction to smart infrastructure
1.1 What makes infrastructure - smart?
1.2 Smart infrastructure applications
1.3 How do smart infrastructure applications build on each other?

2. Overview of LED and smart streetlight benefits
2.1 Background of LED streetlights and comparison to other technologies
2.2 Cost savings potential of LEDs
2.3 Advanced - smart- lighting features

3. Survey analysis: the current status of LED and smart streetlights in the US
3.1 Energy and maintenance cost savings from LED streetlights
3.2 Financing LED streetlights
3.3 Scale of LED streetlight installations
3.4 Public reaction to LED streetlights
3.5 Interest in - smart- streetlight features

4. Contested issues in LED and smart streetlight systems
4.1 City vs. utility streetlight ownership
4.2 Legal issues involving dimmed streetlights

5. Case studies
5.1 Chattanooga
5.2 Los Angeles
5.3 San José
5.4 Seattle

6. LED and smart streetlight market forecast
6.1 LED and smart streetlight deployment pace
6.2 Cost of LED and smart streetlight deployments
6.3 LED streetlight market forecast
6.4 Smart streetlight market forecast

7. Vendors
7.1 Cooper
7.2 Cree
7.3 Echelon
7.4 GE
7.5 Global Green Lighting
7.6 Holophane
7.7 Leotek
7.8 LSI
7.9 Philips
7.10 Schréder
7.11 Sensus
7.12 Additional vendors

8. Conclusion

9. Appendix
9.1 Cities responding to municipal street lighting survey
9.2 Cities identified as having considered LED streetlights
9.3 Companies covered in this report
9.4 List of acronyms

List of Figures, Boxes, and Tables

Survey highlights
LED and smart streetlights: key takeaways
Combined LED and smart streetlight market forecast
LED and smart streetlight market forecast data
Table 1.1: Smart infrastructure market segments
Figure 1.1: Smart infrastructure overview
Table 1.2: Communications technologies
Figure 1.2: Smart grid value chain
Table 2.1: LED streetlight benefits
List of Figures, Boxes, and Tables (cont.)
Table 2.2: Different types of streetlight luminaires
Table 2.3: HPS to LED wattage cross-reference
Table 2.4: Payback on Ann Arbor's LED streetlight program
Figure 2.1: Payback on Ann Arbor's LED streetlight program
Table 2.5: Simple payback on replacement of 4-year HPS streetlights
Figure 2.2: Adjusted payback on replacement LED streetlights in Ann Arbor
Table 2.6: Simple payback—4-year lifetime HPS replacement and higher energy costs
Figure 2.3: Payback on replacement LED streetlights assuming higher energy costs
Table 2.7: Summary of payback in LED cost-benefit examples
Figure 2.4: Conservative estimate of payback with dimming
Table 2.8: Conservative estimate of payback with dimming
Figure 2.5: Payback with better scaled dimming
Table 2.9: Estimate of payback with better scaled dimming
Figure 2.6: Payback with better scaled dimming and higher energy prices
Table 2.10: Estimate of payback with better scaled dimming and higher energy prices
Table 2.11: Summary of payback in smart lighting cost-benefit examples
Figure 3.1: LED streetlight projects in the US
Table 3.1: Northeast Group municipal streetlight survey summary
Figure 3.2: Average energy savings from LEDs
Figure 3.3: Reported energy savings from LEDs
Figure 3.4: Cities with access to LED streetlight rates
Figure 3.5: LED streetlight financing
Figure 3.6: Percentage streetlights converted to LED
Figure 3.7: Completion of LED streetlight projects
Figure 3.8: Interest in “smart” streetlight features
Table 4.1: Streetlight ownership models
Figure 4.1: Major investor-owned utilities offering LED rates
Box 4.1: Calculating streetlight flat rates at PG&E
Box 4.2 Traditional and decoupled rate making
Figure 4.2: States with electric decoupling
Box 4.3: Hypothetical streetlight decoupling example
Figure 4.3: Legal framework for assessing liability of streetlights
Table 4.2: Dimming criteria for the standard IESNA RP-8-05
Table 5.1: Summary of case studies
List of Figures, Boxes, and Tables (cont.)
Table 5.2: Payback on LED and smart systems in Chattanooga
Figure 5.1: Payback on Chattanooga's smart streetlight project
Table 5.3: Payback on Los Angeles' LED streetlight program
Figure 5.2: Payback on Los Angeles' LED streetlight program
Table 5.4: Cost breakdown of San José's smart lighting system
Table 5.5: Payback on San José's smart streetlight program
Figure 5.3: Payback on San José's first 2,100 smart streetlights
Table 5.6: Seattle vendor selection cost analysis
Figure 5.4: Cost of different streetlight manufacturers in Seattle
Figure 5.5: Price per streetlight of Seattle's LED streetlight project
Figure 5.6: Payback on Seattle's LED streetlight project
Table 5.7: Payback on Seattle's LED streetlight project
Figure 6.1: Annual investment in LED and smart streetlights
Figure 6.2: Common types of streetlight fixtures
Figure 6.3: Price range for different watt LED streetlights in municipal survey
Figure 6.4: Average cost of sub-100 W cobra head LED streetlights
Figure 6.5: Average cost per streetlight of smart streetlight projects
Figure 6.6: Detailed LED streetlight market forecast
Table 6.1: LED streetlight forecast data
Figure 6.7: LED streetlight penetration rate
Table 6.2: LED and smart streetlight market drives and barriers
Table 6.3: Smart streetlight forecast data
Figure 6.8: Smart streetlight market forecast
Figure 7.1: Market share of leading LED streetlight vendors in municipal lighting survey
Figure 7.2: LED vendors by number of cities served
Table 7.1: Leading LED and smart streetlight vendors
Table 7.2: Vendors in largest US LED streetlight projects
Table 7.3: Additional vendors in the US LED streetlight market
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- American Electric Lighting
- Amerlux
- Arizona Public Service Co
- Cooper Lighting
- Cree
- Detroit Edison
- Dialight
- Duke Energy
- Duralight
- Echelon
- Ecofit
- ESL Spectrum
- GE
- Georgia Power
- Global Green Lighting
- Greenstar
- Holophane
- Kansas City Light & Power
- Kim
- King
- LED Roadway
- Leotek
- Lighting Science
- LSI
- Omega Pacific
- Pacific Gas & Electric
- Portland General Electric
- Progress Energy
- Ringdale
- San Diego Gas & Electric
- Schréder
- Sensus
- Southern California Edison
- Sternberg
- Sylvania
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