KIT Develops Street Lights with Interconnected LEDs to Reduce 20% Power Consumption

Researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany have developed a novel, even more economical LED street light by replacing conventional high-performance LED with a special array of weaker LEDs. The new approach succeeded in reducing power consumption by 20 percent.

Michael Heidinger at KIT's Light Technology Institute (LTI) designed a smart circuit that compensates aging and failure of individual LEDs. With the new approach, it is possible to install a large number of LEDs on a single board at low cost. Moreover, the LEDs increase safety as the new switching concept is operated at voltages of 20 volts compared to the usual 120 volts. Low-power LEDs are also cheaper than high-power LEDs, so the new system can be produced and offered at reduced costs.

(Image: Tanja Meißner/KIT)

In addition, KIT addressed that the new designed LED streetlights are more comfortable for the human eye. "Many small LEDs are perceived as panel radiators from a certain distance. Their glaring effect is smaller than that of high-performance LEDs that are perceived as spot-like light sources," said Klaus Müller, Managing Director of Gratz Luminance.

The street lights will be tested in Maxdorf, Rhineland Palatinate by local utility company Pfalzwerke Netz. Cities all over the world are now replacing conventional streetlights to LED to save energy cost. If KIT’s novel LEDs are used, cost reductions of up to 30 percent will be possible, explained Stefan Lang, who is responsible for technology and innovation at the Pfalzwerke.

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