The Brazilian government has awarded a first-place Rational Use and Energy Conservation National Award to a project by electric power distributor Bandeirante Energia S.A. that replaced all the incandescent-based traffic lights in a Sao Paolo suburb with LUXEON LED-based lamps. The annual award recognizes initiatives that reduce the use of electric energy and/or oil or natural gas derivatives in favor of renewable sources.
The new traffic lights in Guarulhos, with a population of nearly 1.3 million, are cutting the city’s energy bills by approximately USD$240,000 annually and reducing municipal energy consumption by 1340 megawatt hours per year — enough to power about 558 average Brazilian households.
The LUXEON-based solution employed in the project utilizes one-sixth the energy of incandescent bulbs, replacing the city’s 60W pedestrian and 100W vehicular traffic bulbs with just 10W of LED power. The LEDs also last up to 10 times longer than conventional lighting sources, significantly reducing lamp replacement frequency and associated maintenance costs.
The Guarulhos project involved the replacement of 5,370 incandescent bulbs used in 2,059 vehicular and pedestrian traffic lights with custom lamps using LUXEON I LEDs. The lamp was developed and manufactured by Meng Engenharia Ltda, a Brazilian company specializing in signaling projects.
The new lamp was designed to replicate the basic shape and radiation pattern of a traditional traffic head, using seven LUXEON I LEDs and a built-in power supply per bulb as well as a standard screw-in bulb base. This design enabled fast and easy field replacement with no need for specially trained work teams. All red, green and yellow traffic lights, arrows and pedestrian signals were replaced.
The project cost approximately USD$750,000 and paid for itself in 12 months through a combination of energy savings and maintenance reductions made possible by long LED life.
“This project showcases the value of LED technology in providing a low-cost, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly replacement for traditional incandescent and halogen traffic signals,” said Steve Landau, Director of Marketing Communications for Philips Lumileds. “Bandeirante Energia and Meng Engenharia have developed a practical, easy deployment model that can be replicated by municipalities around the world.”