New lighting technology upgrades to reap big savings across Australia

Councils across Australia are planning major works to replace inefficient street lights and relight public domains in a bid to cut costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the Municipal Association of Victoria over 80 percent of its councils are currently transitioning to energy efficient lighting, and it has partnered with consultants Ironbark Sustainability to deliver the world’s second largest street light replacement program, which aims to save up to $340 million.

Local government authorities, developers, contractors and lighting industry professionals from around the country will be gathering in Melbourne next month at the Australian Smart Lighting Summit to discuss similar projects and share best practice strategies and challenges to achieving the desired energy and cost savings.

As part of a revolutionary LED retrofit project City of Sydney has replaced over half of its public domain lights and has already achieved more than a 40 percent energy reduction.

“The City of Sydney was the first Australian City to trial LED lighting covering various locations including pedestrian, vehicular and mixed use areas”, says George Angelis, manager of the city’s infrastructure & traffic operations.

“We trust others can learn from the City of Sydney’s experiences and results, and make further steps towards improved sustainability in lighting.”

With public lighting accounting for one-third of the city’s annual electricity bill energy-saving schemes are being backed by the NSW Government, which has announced a grid-wide roll-out in 41 councils across Sydney, the Central Coast and Hunter regions. City of Melbourne has also recently updated its Public Lighting Strategy, which aims to ensure the city is inviting, interesting and safe during the evening, and attract more activity into Melbourne’s laneways, parks and squares.

Local councils and developers will be looking to gain valuable lessons from the success of cities abroad such as Abu Dhabi Municipality which is currently replacing 600,000 streetlights to LED fixtures, leading to an estimated saving of up to $140 million.

“The long-term benefits are key to justifying early change where possible”, says Martin Valentine, Lighting Expert at Abu Dhabi City Municipality who is giving a presentation at the upcoming Australian Smart Lighting Summit.

“The challenge is not with the rapidly changing technology itself and the obvious improvements in both the sources and ‘smart’ controls. It is ensuring it is understood exactly what one wants to have and the lighting designed and applied appropriately.”

“Also if a region with such extreme environmental conditions as Abu Dhabi can be seen to have successfully embraced new lighting technologies like LED, I hope it might give some assurances for other similar challenging locations”, says Valentine.

Leading manufacturers including Philips, Gerard, SLA, Ledified and GE will be attending the Summit to showcase their latest technologies, and take advantage of the growing market. Nigel Parry of lighting manufacturer OrangeTek Limited will be sharing experiences from the United Kingdom, working alongside local authorities that have embarked on successful LED replacement programs.

The 2-day conference commences at 9am at Melbourne Convention Centre on 18 August 2014. For more information, visit http://www.lightingconference.com.au.

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