Pittsburgh LED Manufacturers Brighten Pittsburgh

As the holiday season makes us think more about illumination, one may have noticed a few changes in the way urban areas are providing lighting this year. In numerous municipalities the incandescent outdoor lamps of the past are being replaced by Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting. High-pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide or mercury vapor lights still comprise about two-thirds of all street lights operating in the United States. As much as 60% of the energy budget of a municipality and 40% of its energy consumption can be attributed to these incandescent lamps.

The gas discharge lamps create light from being heated, which discharges gas as a byproduct. Alternatively, LED Interior Lights generate light as semiconductors which only need electric current to be passed through them to emit light. As a result, LEDs are starting to be viewed as a less expensive and more energy efficient alternative for use in various types of urban lighting. Cities in Nebraska, North Carolina and Pennsylvania have already begun to implement replacement initiatives for traffic lights and street lamps. LEDs are also being used in parking garages, along with new sensor technology. LEDs attached to solar power technology add extra savings benefits and are perfectly suited for small communities.

The city of Pittsburgh is taking a role in establishing the LED revolution. The municipality began by retrofitting 4,000 of its 40,000 street lights with LEDs. An annual savings of $140,000 has been estimated by Pittsburgh's Department of Public Works, mostly from reduced maintenance expenses. Additionally, energy consumption has been halved.

The LED lighting in Pittsburgh has encouraged nearby communities to make similar changes, such as Edgeworth's recent conversion of their traffic lights. Saving costs on efficiency and lowered maintenance, the borough was able to save 60% on their energy costs.

Based on the success of the traffic light conversion, Edgeworth set a plan in motion to exchange all of its street lights. The costs involved are steep— between $200 and $300, compared to between $50 and $100 traditional bulbs. Pittsburgh is willing to invest in LED, which could cost as much as $21 million, but for a smaller municipality like Edgeworth, the decision might not be so easily made. The advantage is, of course, in the reduced costs that come after installation (less maintenance, more efficiency, longer life span) but this takes time to pay off. If you are looking for green energy LEDs, I highly recommend a good agency like Laface and Mcgovern Associates. Click to learn more about LEDs

Despite the LED's reputation when it comes to the environment, some concerns have been raised. A University of Pittsburgh study has shown LEDs to have a greater negative impact on the environment in the stages of manufacturing and recycling but not use. Risk of environmental hazards during the production phase actually rates LEDs worse than other styles of lighting. The raw materials in the circuit boards used also make them difficult to recycle safely. Less toxins are found in LED bulbs than in metal-halide bulbs, however, and no mercury is used. This, combined with the benefits in efficiency, versatility and longevity, clearly makes LED light fixtures an attractive alternative to the incandescent bulb.