Philips’ New Solar LED Street Light Saves Even More Electricity

Street lighting electricity consumption is significant and a major challenge in an increasingly carbon-constrained world where electricity prices from traditional sources will continue to skyrocket. 
According to the City of Sydney, in 2008/09 the 20,000 street and park lights across the City racked up a $3.5 million electricity bill; sparking the council to trial LED street lights.
LED street lighting offers anywhere from 50 – 80% in electricity savings. Throw a solar panel on an LED street lamp and the savings; both financial and environmental in terms of emissions, are even greater.
Like other aspects of LED lighting, LED street lamp technology is rapidly evolving. Philips recently announced what it claims to be the world’s most efficient and cost effective solar powered LED street lighting solution based on each kilometre of roadway. 
The company’s latest Solar Gen2 solution allows for a lamp post spacing of up to 50 meters, much wider than with other solutions, and an integrated solar panel that can feed clean electricity to the mains grid during the day; offsetting consumption at night. The system also includes a battery storage system, for true off grid applications. 
Central to the Solar Gen2 is combination of new High Brightness LEDs along with  patented optics. The system incorporates an intelligent charge controller, developed by NXP Semiconductors N.V., which maximizes battery life. Light levels can be dimmed based on a self learning intelligence and a history log. 
Also incorporated is Philips LEDGINE, which allows LED modules and drivers to be easily replaced and upgraded; future-proofing the system. 
“By making Solar Gen2 as power efficient as possible, we’ve produced something which is genuinely groundbreaking while remaining affordable in those countries that can benefit the most from it. Harnessing the energy of the sun as effectively as possible means reduced electricity demand and a more robust infrastructure,” says René Penning de Vries, CTO of NXP Semiconductors.
Philips sees Solar Gen2 particularly beneficial to towns and cities close to the equator and says if used in rural areas it can help improve the lives of an estimated 1.6 billion people without access to conventional electricity.
Philips will be focusing rolling out its Solar Gen2  street lighting solution in South East Asia, Africa, China, India and North America.