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Bridgelux-Chevron deal brings LED streetlights to cities

Two municipalities in California will get efficient, long-lasting LED streetlights and pay for the installation through energy and maintenance savings.

An LED module for installation in existing streetlights.
An LED module for installation in existing streetlights. Bridgelux

LED producer Bridgelux has teamed with Chevron in a project to highlight the benefits of LED streetlights in cities.

The two companies today announced a program that allows municipalities to upgrade their streetlights to more efficient, long-lasting LED lighting with little or no up-front cost.

The LEDs use about half as much energy as traditional street lighting and require lower maintenance, providing monthly savings that will allow municipalities to pay for the switch, the companies said.

So far, the cities of Dublin, Calif., and Livermore, Calif., where Bridgelux is based, have signed on to test the service.

"Through this new initiative, we can help cities modernize their infrastructure by financing projects through energy savings," Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions, said in a statement. The Chevron division develops energy-related projects, such as solar power plants and energy-efficiency upgrades.

Large organizations, such as municipalities or building owners, often finance building equipment upgrades with the money savings from efficient lighting or heating and cooling. But this finance model is not widely done with street lighting, which the LED industry sees as a potentially significant market.

LEDs are typically more expensive up front, which is why the Bridgelux is exploring new business models to aid their adoption. "LEDs and solid-state lighting represent more than just a technical advance. They will usher in new business models and capabilities for running our homes, businesses and cities," Bridgelux CEO Bill Watkins said in a statement.