LED streetlamp innovation aims to reduce light pollution

Apr 24, 2013
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LED streetlamp innovation aims to reduce light pollution

A group of researchers from both Taiwan and Mexico have developed a new design for an LED streetlamp that will limit light pollution all the way down to 2%. Currently, LED streetlamps can leak as high as 20% of their light into areas they weren't intending to target. These new streetlamps will only shine light in areas they are configured to light up, and will only leak a tiny amount of light into the night sky or surrounding objects.

According to the New Jersey Astronomical Association, around 30% of electricity generated from out door lights is being wasted illuminating areas that aren't meant to receive the lighting. This light leakage also has adverse affects on nature as well. Birds are confused and sent off course, turtles who require the night sky to navigate become lost on their way towards the ocean, and many other animals have their sleeping patterns disrupted.

These new LED streetlamps would combat those adverse affects. The streetlamps' design is also very adaptable, meaning that it can be adjusted to fit various environments. Ching-Cherng Sun, a member of the team behind the LED streetlamps, stated that current streetlamps either lean into the middle of a road or are posted in a zig-zag formation on different sides of a street. Those current designs are good for high-traffic areas, but not for other areas. Sun says that the new streetlight design is flexible enough to be used in a variety of situations and can be used to maintain a high efficiency in lighting.

The lamp is based on a 3-part fixture. The first part holds a cluster of LEDs, each fitted into a TIR (Total Internal Reflection) lens that helps focus the light making the rays parallel to each other instead of intersecting. The TIR lens-covered LED lights are then mounted inside a reflecting cavity, which recycles the light and makes sure that most of it is used to illuminate its target area. Lastly, the light leaves the lamp through a microlens sheet that reduces unwanted glare.

The new LED streetlight would reduce the amount of light pollution around the globe, and also reduce the amount of electricity used up by wasted light. It would also be beneficial to homes that have to deal with the unwanted glare produced by a nearby streetlight. Sun and his team are working diligently on their streetlamp prototype, and may finish it within 3-6 months. They hope to have these new streetlamps available by next year.

[via Nature World News]


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