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Working with government, industry associations and industry partners, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia's (IPWEA) two year-initiative, the Street Lighting and Smart Controls (SLSC) Programme is designed to help accelerate the deployment of LED street lights and smart controls in Australia and New Zealand. This initiative builds on IPWEA’s close monitoring of street lighting developments since 2012. In 2014, it published its well-received Practice Note 11: Towards More Sustainable Street Lighting. IPWEA’s vision with the SLSC Programme is to see near full deployment of LED street lighting and smart controls by 2027. Achieving this goal will deliver a range of financial, energy productivity, environmental, road safety, public safety and community liveability objectives as outlined in this Australian Roadmap for the SLSC Programme.

Based on research and modelling undertaken in the preparation of this Roadmap, the benefits of widespread Australian deployment of LEDs and smart controls are summarised as follows:

Energy and Greenhouse Gas Savings – A 52%+ reduction in street lighting energy use and consequent Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and a further 10-20% improvement if smart controls are included.

Maintenance Savings – A 50%+ reduction in the street lighting maintenance burden from the greatly improved reliability of LEDs as compared to previous luminaire technologies and through the better asset management capabilities of smart controls.

Overall Cost Savings – At least a 25% reduction in total long-term costs for councils and main road authorities from a combination of maintenance and energy savings.

Safer Roads – A material reduction in road crashes (and consequent fatalities and serious injuries) at night by potentially increasing lighting levels that can reduce crashes by as much as 30%. Widespread use of high quality white LED light with better colour rendition and optical control, together with higher levels of reliability may add further safety benefits. This could materially contribute to achieving the government’s challenging National Road Safety Strategy goals by 2020.

Environmental Benefits – The reduction of carbon emissions, elimination of 90kg of the mercury currently used in legacy street lighting lamps, reduced obtrusive light, reduced upward waste light and consequent sky glow, and reduced impacts on Australia’s ecology when smart controls are used to better control lighting outputs.

Facilitating the Smart City – Improvements in the delivery of community services, productivity, disaster resilience and liveability by using street lights as an enabling platform for transmitting community-wide data and establishing connectivity with other devices in the public domain.

Night-time Enhancement – Enhancing the amenity, ambience, and safety of streets, parks, and the business prospects of entertainment and tourist precincts at night.

The wide ranging benefits available suggest the need for a street lighting strategy that leverages a whole-of-government approach. 

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