By Dawna Matthews:
Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a magical city — one of romance, passion, art, food, dance and vitality. One of the simplest yet incredibly beautiful activities in Buenos Aires is to walk through the winding streets of its various neighborhoods, and take in the diversity and joy of life. I have such fond memories of discovering this city as I strolled underneath the amber glow of lights while a teenager living there.
It takes about 125,000 street lights to light up the city. Buenos Aires has decided to retrofit its city lights by selecting Phillips to replace 91,000 lights in the city with LED lights. This radical transformation will take place over three years and is quite a forward thinking decision in one of the largest cities in the world.
In our modern world, lighting accounts for 19% of the world’s electricity consumption – with around 60% used for commercial and public buildings in cities, and around 15% for street lighting. A significant average savings of 40% and up to 90% can be made simply by switching to energy-efficient lighting technologies like LED.
In the case of Buenos Aires, the substitution of LED technology for the city’s older, more conventional lighting will enable a more energy efficient system and reduce its carbon footprint by as much as 50%. The city also will incorporate remote management, which will allow for adaptive control of the lights and automation of maintenance programs. By using this technology, pollution will be reduced by decreasing the amount of carbon dioxide emissions as well as the cost of maintaining all those lights, as the new luminaries will last up to five times longer.
Another facet of the new illumination is the ability to see more clearly in what once were darker areas of the city. The LED light replacement project includes lighting in parks, as well as on streets and avenues. Buenos Aires is a city that comes alive after dark, and the LED lights will greatly enhance the ability to see colors vividly. Because the better lighting produces better uniformity and visibility for drivers and pedestrians, there also will be more safety, as well as an enhanced feeling of security.
I remember so clearly my experiences in this high energy, romantic city. The amber hued lights always added some mystique and excitement, but it also could be a little scary. These new bright lights could make me feel better about my surroundings, as well as help me enjoy the impressive monuments and buildings such as the Plaza San Martin and the Colón Theatre by making them even more visible and amazing. This decision to implement LED technology is exciting and will bring the “Paris of South America” to the forefront of environmentally conscious, energy efficient, sustainable cities while making it safer and more beautiful. Hopefully, it will light the spark for other cities around the world to see more clearly.
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