Increasing efficiency in public lighting

11:20 | 26/03/2015 Industry

(VEN) - According to the Energy Conservation Center of Ho Chi Minh City (ECC HCMC), electricity usage for lighting in Vietnam accounts for 35 percent of total power consumption, while this rate elsewhere in the world is only 16-17 percent. In big cities, high-pressure mercury or high-pressure sodium lights are still used for public lighting. In Hanoi, these non-eco-friendly types are found in 52 percent of all public lighting; in Bac Giang, 65 percent; in Tuyen Quang, 100 percent; and in Ben Tre, these high-pressure lights account for 83 percent of the public lighting total. As such, the potential for improvement in public lighting energy efficiency in Vietnam is huge, and solutions to increase energy efficiency have been applied in several localities, including Ben Tre Province.

Increasing efficiency in public lighting

New LED lights are installed in Ben Tre City

In 2014, Ben Tre City People’s Committee implemented a project to improve the public lighting system using LED lights. Under this project, the whole public lighting system in the city will gradually be replaced with 2,500 LED lights. The project is being funded by the Viet Esco Company (under the ECC HCMC).

Director of ECC HCMC Huynh Kim Tuoc said, “The former 250W high-pressure lights are being replaced by 80W LED lights. The project, upon completion, is expected to increase the quality of lighting, the aesthetic appeal, as well as the energy efficiency for the city’s public lighting system.”

There are more than 2,593 lights in use in Ben Tre City, most of which are high-pressure sodium lights (HPS) (1778 units, accounting for 71 percent), while the remainder are metal halide (MH), high-pressure mercury lights, and compact lights. All these types of lights are hugely inefficient in terms of their energy consumption. Also their average life cycle is only 6,000-18,000 hours. At present, the quality and lighting efficiency along some routes in Ben Tre City remain very low, with many places as dark as only 0.5 lux.

To save energy, authorities in Ben Tre City turn off half of the lights along some routes in the early evening. However, with such a high number of HPS-250W units installed on most kinds of roads, there is a city-wide waste of energy. This is particularly noticeable along small roads less than 10 meters wide where HPS-250W lights are far greater than what’s needed.

To deal with this issue, the ECC HCMC has advised Ben Tre City People’s Committee to replace the HPS-250W lights along several routes in the city with the 80W LED lights. As a result, the project helped the city reduce its electricity consumption by 72 percent in some pilot routes, equal to about 45,269 kWh/year (VND67.9 million a year).

The public lighting system is an integral part of every urban infrastructure system, contributing to traffic safety, tightening security in built-up areas, and making the city landscape more beautiful at night.

Huynh Kim Tuoc added that the project has attracted interest from authorities outside of Ben Tre City, including in localities in the Mekong Delta, as well as elsewhere throughout the nation. In the near future, the project will be expanded to many other regions, making the public lighting systems of many localities much more technologically up-to-date and eco-friendly.

The use of LED lights in public lighting is now a popular trend in many countries throughout the world. If Vietnam applies this method, it will not only help reduce electricity costs and greenhouse gas emissions, it will also yield significant savings for the local budgets, not to mention the unquantifiable value that the increased lighting quality has on people’s lives. 

By Minh Ky