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Case Studies

LightSavers Canada was founded in 2008 by the Toronto Atmospheric Fund to accelerate transformation of the outdoor lighting market, nudging it towards LED and smart adaptive control technologies. This is achieved through supporting the development of scale-up tools, communication activities, and a national summit focused on the scale-up of LED and adaptive control technologies in outdoor applications.

A Technical Advisory Panel comprising industry experts oversees the work in the Program. Funding has been provided by Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Power Authority (now IESO), and participating private sector event sponsors.

LightSavers initially focused on building a rigorous framework for testing and evaluating the performance of LED luminaires for streetlighting. The results of this initial phase are available on this website as technical reports, a database of pilots, and a field testing performance protocol. LEDs and adaptive controls have been shown to reduce electricity use 50-70% in outdoor applications, along with compelling public benefits that include significantly lower operating costs, central management of lighting assets, improved visibility and public safety, and reduced light pollution and carbon emissions.

LightSavers expanded to evaluate the opportunity for LED lighting in parking lots and garages. Trials showed that electricity use for such lighting could be reduced by 50% by switching to LED lighting and 70% or more when smart lighting controls, such as occupancy sensors, are also used.

As LightSavers in the Toronto region continued its work, in 2009, The Climate Group, based in the United Kingdom, licensed the brand and IP from TAF and scaled up the program worldwide. Ten global cities, including London, New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, and Kolkata, were recruited as LightSavers partners. They expanded the performance trials begun in Toronto with the aim of developing a comparable database of product evaluations that would be useful to municipal lighting asset managers everywhere. The results from these trials were published in 2012.

In March 2012, LightSavers Canada was launched as the third phase of the program. This involved creating a national market consortium to accelerate industry engagement towards the adoption of LED lighting and smart adaptive controls in certain general illumination applications across the country. While continuing to disseminate performance trial results, LightSavers Canada now focuses on remaining barriers to scale-up and deployment, including procurement and financing.

Participation in the LightSavers Consortium provides you with resources and networks to help your organization save money and improve performance by learning about LED lighting and smart control performance, procurement, and financing. Membership is free. Consortium members are from municipal and provincial governments, public institutions, and private companies that own or manage lighting assets.

About the Consortium

Canadian Case Studies

LightSavers has documented four Canadian LED Streetlight scale-ups with the goal of providing practical guidance for policy makers and lighting managers who want to scale-up and finance large scale LED retrofits.

Case Study #1: North Bay, Ontario  with aging lighting infrastructure and a strong Sustainability Initiative, a viable business case led to retrofit of 5,700 HPS (High Pressure Sodium) streetlights to LED.

Case Study #2: Welland, Ontario with a strong council champion and a need for building economic strength in its community, 4,300 streetlights were converted and paid for completely with energy and maintenance savings.

Case Study #3: Mississauga, Ontario the largest LED streetlight retrofit in Canada, 49,000 streetlights converted to LEDs with adaptive controls, was started after determining the opportunity cost of waiting was $250,000/month.

Case Study #4: Edmonton, Alberta installed 13,000 LED streetlights as part of a neighborhood rehabilitation program, and now intends to retrofit the remainder of its 98,000 streetlights to LED.

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International Case Studies

In partnership with The Climate Group, LightSavers engaged numerous international cities to implement trials of LED street lighting, which used a rigorous performance methodology for evaluation. , The trials included 12 major cities, 15 trials, 27 products and over 500 lights. The independent and verifiable results and accompanying public surveys give compelling evidence that many commercially available outdoor LED products offer high quality light, durability, and significant electricity savings in the range of 50-70 percent and up to 80 percent when coupled with adaptive controls.  Following are seven case studies of the international trials, and a brief description of each.

Adelaide, Australia A pedestrian pathway LED retrofit in the northern parkland of Adelaide. Replacement of 100W metal halide post top fixtures with 66W LED post top fixtures on a park pathway reduced power usage by 18%.

Hong Kong, China Trials at two municipal universities; one on a campus road and one on a campus pedestrian pathway. Replacement of 125W blended mercury fluorescent post top lamps with 3 LED products from 4 manufacturers on the roadway reduced power usage by 67-78%. Replacement of 70W HPS post top luminaries with 40W LED post top luminaries along the pathway reduced power usage by 67%.

Kolkata, India A trial undertaken by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation involving over 200 Canadian made LED street light luminaries in several street locales. Replacement of 400W and 250W HPS cobra head style luminaries, totaling 273 in number, with 180W and 130W LED luminaries, respectively, reduced power usage by 52%.

New York City, United States Two trials undertaken by the New York City Department of Transportation located in Central Park and along FDR Drive. Replacement of 175W metal halide post top fixtures with LED post top fixtures from five manufacturers ranging in wattage from 40W to 100W along a pedestrian pathway in the park reduced power usage by 55-83%. Replacement of 12W to 159W HPS cobra head style luminaries with LED luminaries ranging from 90W to140W reduced power usage by 15-50%.

Sydney, Australia A trial undertaken by the City of Sydney on George Street, a road in the centre of Sydney's business district. Replacement of 18W to 250W metal halide cobra head style luminaries with LED luminaries from three manufacturers, ranging in wattage from 84W to 118W reduced power usage by 63-85%. One of the products incorporated adaptive controls.

About Adaptive Controls

Adaptive control scan greatly increase the efficiency of lighting. Occupancy sensors, for example, can be used in garages, laundry rooms and corridors to dim lighting when the area is not in use and to quickly (within a couple of seconds) restore full illumination when someone enters the area. The result can be a significant jump in energy savings. Adaptive controls work particularly well with LEDs, which can respond almost instantly to different settings.

In late August 2010, Toronto City Council passed an amendment to the property standards code to allow the use of motion sensor-controlled lighting in multi-unit residential and other buildings. Motion sensor lighting is now allowed in corridors, parking garages, storage rooms and laundry rooms, but not allowed in stairwells and lobbies. This bylaw includes a number of safety provisions including a required 10 lux (1fc) standby lighting level for hallways and garages and a requirement that the sensors reliably activate full lighting within two seconds of any movement. LightSavers and the Toronto Atmospheric Fund’s TowerWise program will be working with building owners and managers to find cost-effective ways of using motion sensors while meeting the new standards.

About LED Lighting

Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are semiconductor devices that emit photons (visible light) when an electrical current runs through them. Often in one lighting system there is a cluster of LEDs (or semi-conductor chips). There is no actual gas-filled bulb or filament. This construction makes LEDs highly resilient and efficient. 

Benefits of LEDs when compared to conventional lighting include:

  • More uniform illumination with less overall light
  • Inherently directional
  • Significantly longer service life (50,000+ hours)
  • 30-50% reductions in electricity consumption
  • Extensive available colour spectrum
  • Minimal heat radiation

LED lighting is currently more costly than most conventional lighting, but costs are reducing annually, coinciding with an increase in available and certified LED products. LEDs, and some forms of conventional lighting, can be combined with advanced lighting control technologies to improve efficiency, performance and safety.  Such controls range from the simple ability to dim a bank of lights to individually network-controlled lamps that can be adjusted to suit different applications and individual preferences. 

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