Designers, manufacturers and sellers of LED (light-emitting diode) technology have long touted the benefits of switching to LED lamps for municipal street lighting, and a new study on the global use of LEDs in some of the world’s largest cities is reinforcing the point.

Released this week, the report from The Climate Group showed that LED street lighting can generate energy savings as high as 85%. The report is based on the findings of LightSavers, an independent two-and-a-half year global pilot of LED lamps in 15 trials across 12 cities, including New York, London, and Kolkata, India.  Entitled “Lighting the Clean Revolution: The Rise of LED Street Lighting and What it Means for Cities,” also points to social and environmental benefits of using LEDs.

The report explores the global market status and potential for LEDs and provides guidelines for policymakers and city light managers who want to scale-up large LED retrofits. It was launched as part of the Clean Revolution campaign at the Rio+20 UN Global Compact Corporate Sustainability Forum and produced by The Climate Group in partnership with Philips.

Key findings include:

· Surveys in Kolkata, London, Sydney and Toronto indicated that between 68% and 90% of respondents endorsed LEDs city-wide rollout. Benefits highlighted included improved safety and visibility.

· The lifespan for the LED lighting trialed ranges from 50,000 to 100,000 hours, indicating a high return on investment.

· LED failure rate over 6,000 hours is around 1%.

· The Climate Group and Philips are calling for the creation of an international low-carbon lighting standard, ensuring that people around the world have access to energy-efficient outdoor lighting.

“This report clearly highlights that LEDs are ready to be scaled-up in towns and cities across the globe,” Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said in announcing the results of the study. “We are now calling on governments to remove policy obstacles and enable a rapid transition to low-carbon lighting.

“All new public lighting—both street lighting and in public buildings—should be LED by 2015, with the aim of all public lighting being LED by 2020.”

Recent announcements from distributors of LED technology are reinforcing the move toward energy-saving lighting solutions as well. As one example, Future Electronics announced the launch of its new web-based applications page focused on LED lighting solutions this month. The new service aims to help designers evaluate options and determine the most effective solutions for designing LED-based fixtures—and it is in direct response to growing interest in solid state lighting solutions worldwide.

“Our new Applications Pages are intended to provide practical and relevant guidance for anyone considering making the switch to solid-state lighting,” said Claudio Caporicci, Marketing Communications Manager for Future Lighting Solutions.  “Featuring the latest technologies and most up-to-date information available, these pages serve as a valuable resource, where visitors will find everything they need to know, all in one place.”