New York's Central Park using LEDs to light walkways

More than 1,600 LED luminaires are being used in a demonstration project that is expected to cut power consumption by 62 percent.

New York City has installed almost 1,600 LED luminaires along paths throughout its iconic Central Park – a move that will cut energy consumption associated with park lighting by 62 percent and result in roughly $30,000 in maintenance savings every year.

The demonstration project is a collaboration between the New York Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Energy and is meant to test the impact on replacement costs and energy consumption. The results of Gateway demonstrations are published for other organizations to reference for their own lighting retrofit projects.

The lights used for the installation are from Spring City Electrical; they use Cree XLamp technology and a lighting engine from Heatron. They have an estimated 75,000-hour lifespan.

The placement of the lights posed a unique challenge – because they need to cast light not just upward but also over the pathways to make them safe for pedestrians. Existing nine-foot tall cast iron poles were retrofitted for the lights, which are spaced about 80 feet apart.

A shot of the installation appears below:


LEDs are finding a growing following in streetlight applications among municipalities and businesses seeking to help reduce maintenance costs and conserve energy. Shipments for LED street lights will grow to more than 17 million units annually by 2020 – compared with just 3 million this year.