LEDs bring high-efficiency lighting to Kansas City streets

Late last month, we wrote about the potential safety implications of a new LED lighting system being planned by NASA that would make it easier for astronauts in space to sleep, reducing the possibility of life-threatening sleep deprivation. Closer to home, urban planners are also leveraging LED technology to promote safety on city streets.

KCTV-5 News in Kansas City reports that the city has installed 5,000 new street lights that rely on cost-efficient light-emitting diodes in an effort to curb municipal expenses and improve outdoor lighting. LED street lights can last up to three times longer and consume between 40 to 60 percent less energy than their traditional counterparts, the report says. Best of all, bright white lights replace the murky orange hue most pedestrians would expect to see while walking down a dark city street, promoting safer avenues for the city’s residents.

And for local residents who find the lights too bright, an easy fix is available.

“We’ve put up over 5,000 lights and have only had about 15 complaints, and we’ve been able to take care of 13 out of 15 just by readjusting the lights or putting a shield on them,” Roger Kroh, lead project manager, told the news source.

Of course, the energy-efficient nature of LED lighting is possible largely because of state-of-the-art thermal management technologies that mitigate risks such as overheating. Much of the electricity produced by LEDs results in heat rather than light, so it is critical that a heat sink or other type of thermal management technology is applied to lower the unit’s temperature.

When properly managed and deployed, LEDs produce more light,reduce the burden on energy producers and require less maintenance. Whether you’re in space or have both feet firmly planted on the ground, those are significant benefits.

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