Understanding Outdoor LED Street Lights

Outdoor LED streetlights have transformed how we illuminate our public spaces and streets. 

These lights use light-emitting diodes that produce visible light when an electric current passes through. 

Moreover, they perform better than traditional lights, consuming less electricity and converting almost 90% of their input electricity into light. 

These lights are also waterproof and highly durable, translating into low replacements or maintenance, thus being cost-effective in the long term.

 Furthermore, LED street light puts light control into your hands, with a possibility for low environmental pollution. 

Today’s article considers outdoor LED street lights highlighting the benefits, drawbacks, and factors affecting quality. Let’s get rolling!

Understanding Outdoor LED Street Lights

Outdoor LED streetlights are modern lighting technologies that illuminate pathways or streets. 

These lights offer many benefits over traditional approaches and employ light-emit diode to produce light when current flow through. 

By consuming less electricity and emitting more light, outdoor LED street lights boast an efficiency of over 90%, bypassing conventional lights’ performance. 

Moreover, these lights are long-lasting, thus translating into reduced maintenance costs and replacements. 

Furthermore, manufacturers design these lights with water and temperature-resistant features to enable outdoor operation. 

What type of LED is used in street light?

High-power SMD assembly

(High-power SMD assembly)

High Power LED (HP-LED) are the most common LED lights we use for street lights.

 These lights are designed to produce a large amount of concentrated light, making them the perfect solution for street use. 

Additionally, the light emits a high lumen output while consuming less electricity than traditional options like fluorescent lights.

 Surprisingly, you can operate these lights under high temperatures and currents, thus ideal for situations where reliability and durability are desired. 

An excellent example of HP-LED is COB LED (Light emitting diode with integrated chip) which contains multiple LED chips on a single substrate.

 Moreover, SMD (surface mount device) LEDs are another HP-LED type that contains many smaller but compact LEDs. 

Generally, SMD and COB LED lights are designed to function well in places with harsh outdoor conditions like moisture and dust.

 Surprisingly, you can control/dim these lights with guaranteed instant illumination. 

Benefits of LED Street Lights

A highway with LED lamps

(A highway with LED lamps)

LED street lights possess the following features that give them an edge over conventional lights. 

Energy Efficiency

One sure thing about LED lights, street lights included, is their lower energy consumption and high light production. 

These light boast an efficiency above 90% and saves up to 70% more energy than metal halides and high-pressure sodium lights. 

Therefore, you’ll spend less on energy bills and cause limited environmental pollution. 

Long Lifespan

With any LED street light, you can achieve a lifespan of 50,000-100,000 hours without significant damage. 

This is higher than the reduced lifespan of traditional incandescent lights (10,000 hours). 

As a result, you’ll experience limited replacement and repairs, thus reducing the operating costs. 

Instant Illumination

Most traditional lights have a warm-up time and will take some time before they light up after switching them on.

 However, LED streetlights have improved time response and will illuminate instantly after switching on the power. 

Control and Dimmability

You’ll find LED street lights easily dimmable, allowing you to control the brightness to meet specific requirements. 

For example, increasing the brightness during special events or reducing the intensity when traffic is low is easy. Surprisingly, control and dimmability also contribute to energy saving. 

Weather Resistant

Most electronic components, including LED lights, damage when exposed to harsh environmental conditions like high temperatures and humidity.

However, LED street lights are designed with weather-resistant materials, thus limiting the impact of extreme outdoor conditions. As a result, they experience increased durability than other options like incandescent lights. 

Smart Lighting Capabilities

Most LED streetlights provide room for smart lighting systems integration, like automatic brightness adjustment, motion sensors, and remote monitoring. 

Therefore, it becomes easy to achieve reduced maintenance costs, responsive lighting control, and improved energy efficiency. 

Disadvantages of LED Street Lights

LED lights on a pole lighting a street

(LED lights on a pole lighting a street)

Although LED streetlights present many benefits, they still have the following downsides: 

High Initial Cost

Despite having a lower running cost than conventional lights, LED street lights come at a higher initial cost. 

This is despite the price of LED lights reducing over the years. However, we are confident that a lower running cost will balance the high initial cost. 

Possible Glare

The high brightness emitted by LED street lights might cause high glare, especially when you don’t implement shielding. 

Unfortunately, glare causes discomfort and will likely present visibility and safety concerns. 

Blue Light Hazard

LED streetlights present a high level of blue light than incandescent orange or yellow lights. 

Surprisingly, research shows that blue light negatively affects human health, especially eye strain and sleep disruption.

 However, most manufacturers are now developing warmer LED lights to mitigate this concern. 

Maintenance Complexity

Although LED streets have high durability, they might experience damage during use. 

However, LEDs lights are designed using integrated circuit technology that only experts and experts can understand. 

Factors Affecting LED Street Light Quality

LED light in front of a residential quarter street

(LED light in front of a residential quarter street)

This section highlights the different factors affecting LED street light quality. 

LED chip quality: Buying LED lights with high-quality LED from a reputable manufacturer guarantees top performance. Generally, high-quality chips increase reliability, efficiency, and brightness. 

Light distribution and optics: If the optics are designed effectively, it guarantees uniform light distribution, thus eliminating glare and dark areas. 

Heat dissipation: Although LEDs don’t emit too much heat, proper dissipation mechanisms should be in place to take care of the little they produce. Therefore, quality LED street lights have heat management systems like heat sinks to eliminate overheating cases. 

Durability and construction: A high-quality LED street light is designed from high-quality materials that withstand harsh environmental conditions. Such construction guarantees high durability and limits maintenance or replacements. 

Compliance with standards: Moreover, a high-quality street light should comply with industrial standards for environmental impact, energy efficiency, and electrical safety. 

Warranty: Most manufacturers and suppliers show confidence in their LED light quality by offering after-sale support and a comprehensive warranty. 


What is the durability of LED streetlights?

We know LED street lights for their increased lifespan thanks to high-quality materials that withstand harsh environmental conditions like extreme temperatures and rain. 

Therefore, expect your lights to last for almost 50,000-100,000 hours compared to less than 10,000 hours for incandescent options. 

Generally, high durability means less replacement/maintenance, thus reducing operating costs. 

Why use LED streetlights? 

LED streetlights have many benefits that make them preferable for outdoor lighting. Below are some reasons: 

  • First, they have high energy efficiency
  • Secondly, they have a longer lifespan reducing the replacement costs
  • Thirdly, you get a bright and uniform illumination
  • These lights have a reduced carbon emission
  • Lastly, you can integrate them with smart systems

Final Remarks

Outdoor LED lights, like other LED lighting solutions, are slowly replacing traditional lights thanks to their high efficiency. 

Moreover, these lights have a longer lifespan, reducing replacement or maintenance expenses. 

And besides offerings bright/uniform illumination, these lights also have reduced carbon emissions. 

However, these lights still present a high initial cost, possible glare, and blue light hazards. Overall, LED street lights are better than all the other lighting options combined.