The city government of Madrid plans to upgrade every single one of their streetlights to Philips’ energy-efficient bulbs. Philips, the world’s leader in lighting, will finance the project at no additional cost to the citizens of Madrid. Existing lights on streets, at historic monuments, and in public parks will be replaced with energy-efficient LED lighting provided by Philips. The project targets a total of 225,000 lights, making this the world’s largest street lighting upgrade.
According to Mayor Ana Botella, this will be “the biggest technological renewal ever seen” in Madrid. The city’s leaders have established a goal of becoming a smart city, and this lighting project represents significant progress toward that goal. The new lights will not only save energy (and therefore money) but also reduce light pollution and extend the lifespan of city lighting. Botella foresees a future Madrid that is “more sustainable and… a more livable city.”
The new eco-friendly lightbulbs will result in a 44% energy savings for the city of 3.2 million residents. The upgrade will also include a new control system, which allows city planners to adjust the intensity and duration of lights based on need. This means lights will be used more efficiently to further reduce energy use, similar to the concept of turning off the bathroom light when you leave the room.
A project of this scale can potentially create a large amount of waste, but the planners considered that as well. Lamps and lampposts being removed will be recycled by Ambilamp, working under the guidelines for disposal of products that contain heavy metals. From beginning to end, Madrid’s street light upgrade project will be smart, safe, and planet-friendly. The only question remaining is: how many eco-stewards does it take to change 225,000 lightbulbs?