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New York City to Install LED Streetlights

Before LED street lighting projects took off around the globe, New York City unveiled plans for an LED streetlight. After a seven-year process that included the design development, production and testing of that luminaire, four LED streetlight prototypes are arriving in early October and will be installed in Manhattan on downtown Warren Street, between Church and West Broadway.

The search for the perfect streetlight began in 2004, when New York City’s Department of Design and Construction and Department of Transportation launched the City Lights Streetlight project, an international design competition to create a new standard streetlight for the city. After receiving more than 200 entries from 23 countries, the city selected an LED-based streetlight designed by a team that included architectural lighting firm Office for Visual Interaction (OVI).

Since then, OVI has been collaborating with manufacturer Philips Lumec to optimize the original design, taking advantage of LED technology development in the past seven years. Instead of the 9-ft luminaire that was proposed earlier, the prototype is a better-proportioned 7-ft luminaire that uses more compact LEDs. The energy performance of the streetlight has also improved: while the original competition design used 64 3-W LEDs, the new prototype generates the same light footprint with 80 1-W LEDs. And to ensure that the streetlights can keep apace with the rapidly changing technology, LEDs are installed as modular packs that can be retrofitted easily.

The DOT is expected to add the new light to its Street Lighting Catalogue, making it available for all new and replacement installations in the five boroughs.
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