Islandwide replacement of street lamps with 110,000 energy-savers to be done by 2022
City streets to look brighter with 25,000 LED lamps The switch is part of a programme to fit street lamps islandwide - numbering 110,000 - with LED lighting by 2022. PHOTO: FITILITE

City streets are getting brighter. The first batch of 25,000 street lamps in central Singapore are being converted to light-emitting diode (LED) lighting at a cost of $76.3 million.

These lights are up to 30 per cent brighter watt-for-watt than conventional street lamps.

In response to post-Budget queries, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the replacement will be completed by the end of the year.

It added that the switch is part of a programme to fit street lamps islandwide - numbering 110,000 - with LED lighting by 2022.

During trials dating as far back as 2010, the LTA found that LED lighting required less maintenance compared with the current high-pressure sodium vapour (HPSV) street lamps. LED also lasts an average of 10 years, versus three years for HPSV bulbs.

"LED street lights are about 25 per cent more energy-efficient than current street lighting," an LTA spokesman added.

With the switch to LED, the LTA is also replacing the existing timer-based street lighting system with a remote control and monitoring system (RCMS) islandwide. RCMS allows lighting to be more responsive to weather changes.

"Currently, street lights operate at pre-programmed seasonal sunrise and sunset timings," the spokesman said. "With RCMS, street lights can be remotely switched on and off in response to varying street lighting needs."

The system, with a built-in automated fault detection and alert mechanism, will also enable LTA to have a more responsive and efficient maintenance regimen.

The LTA is no stranger to LEDs. It started converting traffic lights to LED ones in 1998. It spent $22 million over three years to change 57,000 traffic lights, a move calculated to save about $160,000 a year in electricity. Earlier studies found that Singapore stood to save an estimated $10 million a year in power costs if all street lamps were converted to LED.

Cities which have taken a shine to LED street lighting include those in the United States and Japan. The US Department of Energy has estimated that the country would save US$750 million (S$1 billion) a year if its 34 million street lights were all converted to LED.

Mr Melvin Tan, managing director of engineering group Cyclect Holdings, said he has been fitting LED lighting for many clients for over a decade.

"The energy savings are quite significant," he said. "And LEDs are very bright."

And although they cost more, the power savings offset the higher initial outlay after "two or three years".

Asked if LEDs last as long as their manufacturers claim, Mr Tan said "they're supposed to last longer... they should come with warranty, so the risk is actually transferred to the supplier" should their longevity not be as claimed.