Pulling the plug on wasteful lighting

From BBC News:

Hong_2 In a speech to the recent Labour Party conference, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn outlined government plans to phase out the sale of the traditional bulbs in the UK by 2011. Mr Benn’s announcement follows on from the decision made by the Australian government in February to ban the bulbs by 2009.

Redbridge305philips Theo van Deursen, chief executive of Philips Lighting, says the target is based on the simple formula of customers-saving-energy equals customers-saving-money. “Globally, 19% of electricity is used for lighting,” he told BBC News. “We think you could save 40% of that, which means there are potentially huge savings.” While there seems to be consensus on the home front, Mr van Deursen believes more attention needs to be paid to the way we light our cities. Mr van Deursen says the demand for lighting is only going to increase as more and more people live in cities.

A number of cities, including London, Sydney and Paris, have staged mass switch-offs as a symbolic gesture to highlight the problem of energy waste. But Mr van Deursen says switching off is not the answer. “If you think of major urban areas with 20 million people, if you switch all the lights off then you get a lot of crime and vandalism, and that is not what we want,” he explained. “There is modern technology that means you can do the job in a much better way.” He cites the London Borough of Redbridge as an area that is benefiting from using new ways of lighting its streets. “The light quality has improved a lot and there have been energy savings of 50%. House prices in the street went up because people love to live in a street that is nicely lit.”

More here.