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September 2021

Efficient city lights: A smart choice for municipalities

LED technology doesn’t have to prove itself anymore! Most people know the main benefits of LED lights compared to traditional lighting; such as less energy loss and higher efficacy or increased safety. That is the reason why several cities opt to replace their conventional lighting systems with LED systems. This is done in an effort to improve road safety, save energy and reduce their maintenance costs thanks to efficient city lights.

The benefits of this modernization of conventional lighting systems include:

  • The protection of the environment
  • A reduction of usage costs
  • A light quality improvement

But how do we light cities efficiently with LED lighting systems?

Streets Lights and Highway Lighting

Proper street lighting systems must provide even distribution of light and eliminate glare effects, ensuring safety. Street luminaires should be easily installed and require minimum maintenance. That is how we will upgrade to efficient city lights.

The area that needs lighting should receive the luminaire’s luminous flux as opposed to the sky. This way, the suitable lighting improves visibility and minimizes optical loss.

Furthermore, it is better to select luminaires that distribute consistent and dependable light. Adjusting their brightness level avoids creating significant contrast with darker surroundings to provide better visual comfort.

Deciding on the right LED lighting options for city streets helps reach the objectives mentioned previously. Different type of luminaires can be used such as area lights, post top and flood lights, depending on the areas and use.

Light in cities: Road illuminated by LED street lights at night

Parks and Green Spaces

Have you ever noticed that parks and green spaces are fitted with unique lighting systems? First, lighting should guarantee the safety of all passersby along the footpaths. Very often, other areas remain in the shadows. The lighting system should clearly illuminate obstacles as well as other pedestrians. Consequently, properly lighting vertical and horizontal surfaces is imperative.

Lighting systems can improve visibility with a lamp that dispenses a good color rendering. A CRI of 60 is ideal. Selecting luminaires that offer a wide range of luminous flux and optics is preferable as they offer light level adjustment capabilities.

Designated luminaires should offer airtight features to prevent dust, water and insects from penetrating and damaging the component. This will ensure their effectiveness over a long period of time. An IP code of 60 or higher is usually an excellent option.

Lighting systems installed at lower levels should offer vandal-proof features to prevent damage to the components, too. Heavy-duty materials such as aluminum, glass and polycarbonate are worth considering.

We also often like to embellish parks with decorative and attractive luminaires. These should therefore fit perfectly into the scenery. This is also why the choice of color and housing has to be considered.

LED street lights (post top) used in a public parc to improve visibility and safety

Decorative Spaces

Light helps create a vibrant living space, enhance a city’s appeal, and highlight its cultural landscape. Illuminating historical landmarks and architectural treasures with LED fixtures achieves this goal. Very often, the selected street lighting is colored, and enriched with a color temperature that accentuates the rich materials. Lighting also serves to create an atmosphere and embellish the quality of architectural elements.

building lighted by flood and yard light that are LED street light to improve safety and visibility at night

Bicycle Paths

These dedicated bicycle pathways are becoming more and more popular and their use is increasing. The need for proper lighting has indeed become indispensable. To ensure the safety of all users, a specific lighting system is required that offers the following features:

  • Consistent illumination
  • Evenly spread lighting levels
  • No loss of light
  • No needless glare
  • Clearly identifiable pathways, signage and presence of other users during daytime or nighttime

The choice of a practical and flexible lighting system facilitates its adjustment in compliance with a given environment: in tight spaces or around structures that obstruct circulation. Choosing efficient city lights definitely needs to be considered to upgrade existing bicycle pathways but also when developing new ones, like it has been done in Montreal in recent years.

LED city street lights along the bycicle path of a parc in a canadian city to improve safety and visibility

Special Events

Cities and towns often act as hosts during special events. These require unusual lighting systems. For example, Montréal’s entertainment district is festooned with giant masts that brighten the streets of the city and provide scenic lighting to the area. The city planners laid out the lighting this way to avoid disrupting circulation or hindering pedestrian traffic.

Temporary street lighting systems are also set up during various festivities. They are often brightly colored, add to the lively atmosphere, and often stimulate the emotions. Cities will frequently use specific sets of lights to highlight each particular event.

Riverview city using christmas lights as street lights to brighten up the city during the holidays

Smart Cities

In today’s climate, we are forced to acknowledge the concept of ‘smart city’.

Cities and towns would greatly benefit from the installation of an LED-based lighting management system. It would allow for wireless control and supervision of public lighting. In the long run, it would benefit from all the advantages of an LED-based street lighting system while ensuring significant savings.

In the end, we believe that various areas of municipalities should opt for new efficient city lights by switching to LED lighting technology. It would improve the quality of light, ensure the protection of the environment and save money in the long run. Consider why LED lighting is a beneficial and cost-effective solution by reading our article entitled Led Lights: An Economical and Long-Lasting Solution.