Relume Technologies is trying to bring a more energy-efficient and longer-lasting street light to a Metro Detroit downtown near you. An LED streetlight, to be exact.
If the Oxford-based company is successful, southeast Michigan cities could see their streetlight electric bill cut in half. Local communities are signing on with Ann Arbor leading the charge after testing LED's lights in a two-year pilot program. City officials will spend $640,000 to make the switch in Ann Arbor's downtown, expecting the upgrade to pay for itself through energy savings within 4.2 years.
Ferndale, Novi, Ypsilanti, Walled Lake, Detroit and other local communities are also considering switching to LED streetlights. Battle Creek plans to bring them to its downtown this year. Other Michigan cities Benton Harbor and Boyne are also considering investing in LED technology, along with a number of municipalities in California and the southern U.S.
"There is a real demand for it," says Bob Hahn, general manager for Lumecon, the national distributor for Relume's LED streetlight technology.
LED lights use a fraction of the electricity of normal light bulbs because 95 percent of the energy they use creates light the human eye can see. In comparison, only 50 to 60 percent of energy used by regular light bulbs makes visible light, Hahn says. He adds that LED lights last several years longer than the normal life-span for normal street lights.
LED lights are currently used in traffic lights, TV and brake lights for car; as well as many other products.
Source: Bob Hahn, general manager of Lumecon
Writer: Jon Zemke