New York is just one of the many cities across America and the world which are migrating away from traditional street lighting technology and embracing the benefits of LED bulbs to illuminate the millions of acres of tarmac and paving slabs which pedestrians and motorists use in their droves.
But like Los Angeles on the west coast of the US, the significance of New York’s adoption of LEDs is especially significant and noteworthy because of the iconic nature of the city itself. It is an icon of pop culture and for many it is seen as the capital of the world, if only in the loosest of senses.
So what is New York planning to do with LED streetlights and what difference will they make to the city as a whole?
The Daily Mail reports that Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, announced last autumn that LED lighting would be coming to the metropolis, replacing old fluorescent and incandescent bulbs.
Upto 250,000 individual lights are earmarked for replacement as part of the upgrade and although the process will be staggered rather than taking place in an instant, eventually the city will be bathed in the bright, consistent glow of LEDs.
While there will undoubtedly be expenses that the local government has to bear in order to facilitate the switchover, current estimates suggest that savings of up to $14 million a year will be made because of the lower energy consumption of LEDs.
The savings are significant in terms of overhauling an entire city, but the same benefits on a much smaller scale are available to businesses and homeowners who choose to select LED lighting solutions.
There has been a lot of talk about the change in lighting to LEDs in New York and LA. The move will play its part in the look of the films which are set there, as well as the nature of the techniques that filmmakers will need to deploy to make the most of them.
For one thing it is anticipated by experts that directors will have to start using LED lighting on-set themselves whenever filming outdoors on the streets of New York. This will help them to match the colour temperature of the LED bulbs mounted in streetlamps.
It might be trickier to shoot period pieces in New York which are set before LED lighting was rolled out, but in reality it should be possible to alter saturation and contrast in post-production to address any issues.
And of course if more film and TV shows are forced to use LED lighting to match New York and LA, then the energy savings will be spread to more areas, along with the cost advantages.
The plans to use LED streetlights in the Big Apple pave the way for more cities to legitimately back similar schemes, because it will be a case of keeping pace with global leaders and other large cities won’t want to be left behind as technology progresses in America.