Cost savings by upgrading streetlights to LEDs

19th August 2019
Alex Lynn

Belo Horizonte, one of Brazil’s largest cities, is realising 50% electricity cost savings by upgrading 182,000 streetlights with new LEDs from Signify. The upgrade is part of Brazil's first major public lighting public-private partnership between Belo Horizonte Iluminaçao Publica (BHIP) and Signify. The new LED lights also improve the safety of the citizens on the streets of Belo Horizonte. 

The project started in 2017 with a survey of all the public light points, providing information for selecting the best luminaires for each street and scheduling their timely delivery and installation. So far 90% of the installation has been completed and, in these parts, the municipality has saved over 50% in electricity costs as LEDs are more energy efficient than conventional luminaires.

This is the equivalent amount of electricity used by an estimated 34,000 Brazilian households in a year. On top of that, the city will be able to realize cost savings in maintenance work and materials as the streetlights last five times longer than conventional streetlights.

“This project goes far beyond simply providing the product. Signify has been working with the city for over two years to deliver the best quality and performance of this project,” said Sérgio Costa, Country Leader & General Manager, Signify Brazil. “High-quality street lighting offers a range of opportunities for both the city and the people such as safety, better-lit public spaces and energy efficiency.”

“In Brazil, as in all developing countries, there is a direct connection between a well-lit city and a safe city, and we set up a project that contributes to making the city better lit and safer,” added Marcelo Bruzzi, President of BHIP. “This modernisation project was very complex and hence required a partner with enough capacity, know-how and experience to make the lighting state of the art. Signify has that knowledge and expertise and therefore proved to be the right choice to implement this project.”

The new LED streetlights are from the Road line series and are all manufactured at Signify’s factory in Varginha, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The installation covers an area of 6km2. The streetlights at the big avenues are equipped with remote management services, making it easier for BHIP to manage the streetlights.

In addition to the economic benefits, the installation of new lighting brings about a significant increase in the use of public spaces. Due to the different lighting from LEDs, public spaces are lit better, and for instance make it easier to recognise people’s faces at night, resulting in residents feeling safer to go for walks and have evening family picnics. Finally, the energy savings translate into helping the city reduce its carbon footprint.

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