OSRAM warns government that ageing street lights put lives in danger

January 24, 2014
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With more than three quarters of European city street lighting installations over 25 years old, Osram is urging local councils to put public safety first by upgrading to white lighting. 

Recent public surveys have shown that up to 80 per cent of us feel safer with longer lasting white solutions, like LED lighting over traditional installations.

LED lighting improves security with balanced light distribution. With minimal glare, the clarity of LED light illuminates hazards and black spots, helping to reduce the number of accidents. It is also expected to last 50,000 to 100,000 hours or more which reduces maintenance costs and ensures the public experiences safer lighting for longer. Safety is also improved with lighting control options available to dim street lights instead of switching them off during non-peak hours.  

White lighting can also be achieved with High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps.  Many councils that are unable to invest in a complete LED solution can install HID solutions for an efficient and high white light output. 

There are still more than 90 million traditional street lights in Europe, which is a huge concern for the safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians. With 21 per cent of all EU traffic fatalities involving pedestrians, the EU Commission recommends that the number of deaths will be reduced with proper street lighting.   

Peter Smith, Public Lighting Account Manager at Osram explains: “Cities across the UK, [6] are starting to upgrade to white light solutions, but it’s still concerning how many dated lighting installations exist. Installing brighter white solutions like LED or HID will improve visibility ensuring that motorists and pedestrians feel safer in busy cities. Local governments can’t afford to ignore the technology upgrades now available to them and need to see lighting as key to improving public safety and saving lives.”

With the European Union setting targets to increase energy efficiency by 20 per cent by the year 2020, a sustainable LED solution can play an important part in reducing the carbon footprint of a city. 

Peter Smith continues: “Lighting currently accounts for 50 per cent of electricity consumption in cities. LED and white lighting solutions with suitable lighting controls, can contribute to saving some of this energy. It’s up to European governments to ensure that lighting upgrades continue to be rolled out so that these ambitious 2020 plans can be met.” -


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