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Issue 6, 2014
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Redefining efficiency for outdoor lighting

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Abstract

Improvements in the luminous efficiency of outdoor lamps might not result in energy savings or reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The reason for this is a rebound effect: when light becomes cheaper, many users will increase illumination, and some previously unlit areas may become lit. We present three policy recommendations that work together to guarantee major energy reductions in street lighting systems. First, taking advantage of new technologies to use light only when and where it is needed. Second, defining maximum permitted illuminances for roadway lighting. Third, defining street lighting system efficiency in terms of kilowatt hours per kilometer per year. Adoption of these policies would not only save energy, but would greatly reduce the amount of light pollution produced by cities. The goal of lighting policy should be to provide the light needed for any given task while minimizing both the energy use and negative environmental side effects of the light.

Graphical abstract: Redefining efficiency for outdoor lighting

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Feb 2014, accepted on 18 Mar 2014 and first published on 19 Mar 2014


Article type: Opinion
DOI: 10.1039/C4EE00566J
Citation: Energy Environ. Sci., 2014,7, 1806-1809
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    Redefining efficiency for outdoor lighting

    C. C. M. Kyba, A. Hänel and F. Hölker, Energy Environ. Sci., 2014, 7, 1806
    DOI: 10.1039/C4EE00566J

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