Brighter future for UK streets

A lighting system developed by a Yorkshire company could one day replace traditional sodium street lights across the UK.

Carbon Reduction Technology (CRT) claims its LED lighting system dubbed ‘e-lamp’ uses up to 75 per cent less electricity than traditional sodium street lights and is much more efficient than other LED lights on the market.

CRT co-director William Robson said the e-lamp’s improved efficiency is due to its patented microprocessor, which controls the voltage, current, resistance and working temperature of the LED.

‘We operate our LED lighting system at a much cooler temperature than anybody else,’ he said. ‘That helps with the efficiency.’

Robson added that LEDs are commonly used on walkways and car parks, but street lighting is a relatively new application area. The CRT e-lamps are currently being trialled for this purpose with two local councils.

Following those trials, Robson said CRT plans to market the lights throughout the UK and later India and North America.

He added that it will likely be a trend in the near future to switch from traditional sodium street lights to LED. ‘A traditional lamp will last between three and four years,’ said Robson. ‘An LED street lamp will last roughly 50,000 hours, which in the lifetime for the lamp is in the region of around 10 to 12 years.’

Robson added that another advantage is that LEDs emit white light, unlike a sodium street light’s yellow glow.

‘With a white light colour recognition is very good, so if you are using the lights in conjunction with CCTV cameras, there will be better recognition of colours and faces,’ he said.

CRT recently received £300,000 in funding from angel investors Ewin Woodward Development to take the concept further.