Why insertLED® is ahead of the game

Warsaw 4 April 2013

solsticeExchanging Central Europe’s Street lighting High-intensity discharge lamps [HID] including all of its High Pressure Sodium lamps [HPS] for more efficient LED is no mean feat. There are more than 6,2 million street lamps in Poland and many more security lights. The LED upgrade in CE’s ten nations will save more energy than a large Nuclear Power Plant can generate, But unlike the Nuclear Power Plant these savings are sustainable.

LED will not just save money. Brighter, better quality lighting will make Poland and its neighbors safer, reducing road accidents and crime.

“25% of all the European Unions pedestrian fatalities occur in Poland as many accidents that through bad driving could be offset by better lighting conditions”

The Nationwide LED upgrade will be Poland’s largest contribution to date in permanently reducing CO2 emissions within its borders. Energy saving and Energy efficiency is big business in Central Europe “smart energy” initiatives now commit more than 10 Billion Euro of energy infrastructure investments in the next 10 years.

How critical are public utility energy savings in Poland?

Energy savings are now very critical to the Polish economy. Whilst everyone focuses on the cost of energy generation and speculates who the outcome benefits, few realize that there is a limit to the future supply of electricity without major investment in infrastructure and distribution. Contrary to the belief some might have coal mining is very uneconomical in Poland and because there is a limit to the amount of subsidies available Poland now imports 50% more coal than it did 2 years ago. Aging infrastructure and uneconomical power supply as many are only to aware will soon have the better of Poland.

How can we extend the life cycle of Polish infrastructure

There are huge losses in energy distribution in Poland because public infrastructure has been neglected now for more than 30 years. Energy savings then seem to be the only alternative to extending Polish energy supply life cycle short term and ensuring continued service in the medium term.

Reducing energy demand can be achieved by turning off street lights or teaching in poor lighting conditions but energy starvation is a short sighted solution. Its only by stopping wasting energy and using energy better and by installing better energy saving devices that we can extend the life cycle of Polish infrastructure. We can extend the life cycle of Polish infrastructure simply because we will demand less from it.

How much are energy savings worth to Poland?

There are many energy savings available to Poland upgrading power lines and sub stations or even taking better care of the existing power infrastructure could have a huge impact because more than 20% of Poland’s energy is lost unnecessarily through poor transmission and distribution.

Most Polish experts agree they identify much energy savings through enforcing better building condition and proper energy use. By upgrading to more energy efficient devices in many industries could save another 20% of Poland’s total energy consumption. Energy saving devices and for example LED street lighting, security lighting and architectural at least in the short term clearly demonstrate the easiest way to reduce energy consumption.

What impact can LED street lighting have on the Polish economy?

There are approximately 3.2 million street lamps in Poland of which almost 17% are as powerful as 250w HPS or more. But the majority of lamps almost 80% are 150w HPS or equivalent. There are many more security and architectural lamps.

The typical streetlight in Poland provides approximately 8,5 hours every night full power averaged over a year this is the equivalent to more than 3100 hours per year. The average price of electricity to local authorities or “Gminas” in Poland is equal to approximately 10.1 Euro cents per kilowatt hour. So each 250w HPS street lamp costs Poland at least 78 Euro per year. A smaller 150w HPS street lamp costs Poland in the region of 47 Euro each year in electricity consumption alone.

According to the most recent Polish utility audit there are likely more than 540,000 250w HPS in Poland and almost 2,700,000 150w HPS lamps. The combined cost of these lamps can be more than 147 million Euro per year in electrical energy consumption alone. Installing LED lamps can save Poland between 50 and 80% of lighting utility energy bills these savings being divided locally means at least 300 million PLN can be expected in local energy rebates every year.

What impact can LED street lighting have on the local economy? 

LED street lighting has a most measurable effect on the local energy economy because the savings for local lighting utilities are instantly measurable. The initial energy savings from street lighting instill confidence in energy saving devices and can have a major impact in energy education often much more public sector costs are mitigated because security and architectural lighting is also upgraded. Much lower power consumption in public utilities means a temporary extension to the life cycle of the existing infrastructure and saving money from the public purse to being better spent elsewhere.

What costs can be reduced by investing in LED lighting?

Installing LED lamps means huge network energy savings for Poland’s lighting utilities a single lamp deonstrated energy savings from between 50 to 80% over existing technologies. Unlike many other technologies LED provides instant lighting and it can be turned up or down for example on a bright moon light night or in the early twilight hours. Having instant control over lighting sophisticated tracking devices with motion sensors can even turn lights off when there is no traffic being instantly contollable they are back on when needed.

If properly procured a LED investment has a relatively short secure payback period if it is from a reliable source guaranteed by real financial instruments and not just promises LED lamps demonstrated much longer life cycle and often four or more times than more traditional technologies. LED technology is easily monitored by low cost devices which will alarm maintenance even in advance of failure. Unlike HPS and HID, LED technology can often operate even when its is partially defective.

How much investment is needed it to replace LED lamps in Poland?

There are two methods favored for the upgrading of street lighting to LED in Poland first is the replacement of the existing Cobra heads with sealed compact LED Cobra’s. The second is to replace existing lamps with new insertLED® devices which replace the existing bulbs.

There is several cost advantages for insertLED® over new LED Cobra heads, for one insertLED® is far lower initial costs and full life cycle cost advantages are insertLED® are modular insert lamps and can be reconditioned and rebuilt this is the true envy of the Cobra head manufacturers

To upgrade 3.2 million street lamps with LED Cobra heads will cost Poland more than 1440 Million Euros whilst insertLED® will cost less than half of this amount even with installation. insertLED® can save Poland’s public service sector more than 700 Million Euros.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of LED Cobra Heads?

LED Cobra heads are mostly elegant and ergonomic in design they look good on top of new lighting Pole. However Poland’s 3.2 million street lighting posts are neither elegant nor ergonomic nor are they likely to be replaced any time soon as even conservative estimates indicate this would mean additional costs of more than 3.5 Billion [three thousand five hundred million] Euros.

There are several disadvantages with sleek designed sealed LED Cobra’s lighting, they are either very heavy or lightweight and prone to substantial failure as a result of over heating.

Replacing existing Cobra’s with sealed LED Cobra heads is invasive it requires the removal of the existing Cobra which most often requires brute force. As many Polish lamp posts are of low quality, dubious condition and often not even upright any invasive refurbishment carries a certain risk of making much property redundant and significantly increasing risks and costs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of insertLED®?

Installing insert LED® replacement bulbs can be very quick if the existing Cobra head is in reasonable condition and the fascia is operable. Over the past ten to twenty years many open face Cobra heads have already been replaced most common Cobra heads are Philips Malaga or similar. These Cobra heads have very long life cycle they are roomy and provide more than enough circulation to ensure fullest life cycle of the insert LED® light.they are also a very common street architecture.

Where open light Cobra’s still exist upgrading to new Philips Malaga or similar is relatively low cost for example a reasonable quality sealed 150w LED Cobra costs between 350 and 450 Euro the Philips Malaga or similar Cobra head costs around 60 Euro and the Malaga and insert LED® combined support a substantial saving in some cases even 50%.

The replacement cost of insert LED® is very low firstly they demonstrate full life cycle of more than 100,000 hours in good condition but more importantly they are modular and unlike sealed Cobra head LED can be rebuilt in local workshops.

What is the availability of LED street lighting devices?

There are no manufacturers of LED street lighting in Poland yet. The recent street lighting exhibition in Warsaw in March 2013 demonstrated practically everything but LED street lights. There were few exceptions with lamps and stands combined often costing more than several thousand Euro each. LED lighting is a new concept in Poland and everything is imported.

What is the quality of LED street lighting devices?

There are many instances of failed street lighting tenders even several already in Poland, the technology offered most often did not work or substantial risks were identified in the procurement process. The cost of the lamps are often not reflected in the components that the lamps are made of for example Philips and Osram diodes and drivers can be identified in all good devices, but Philips and Osram are very competitive components and they are built into low cost solutions not just the most expensive. Of the many hundreds of products on the market few offer value and quality and many more simply do not work, .

Where are LED lamps made?

There are literally hundreds of Chinese producers offering low cost lights. Most Chinese lamps do not demonstrate to be sustainable most often they even arrive defective. There are many issues with Chinese lighting design they are prone to overheating due to poor design and very low quality of manufacture for this reason they often cannot be sold in China.

On the other hand here in Europe there are many European products which are over designed and are simply not worth the extra cost. European products do not sell well in Europe because they are simply too expensive many of these revolutionary devices too suffer from poor quality manufacturing. There is little point in purchasing lighting devices which take more than 7-10 years to repay.

It is very important then to have a professional opinion from an independent testing laboratory who will test the lamp to its destruction and to ascertain [1] that the design is credible and [2] the level and quality of manufacturing is good enough to operate many thousand of hours and in many thousands of units. In any event it is important to see any LED street lighting solution in the field.

Can Polish manufacturing benefit from the new LED lighting industry?

Both Philips and Osram have distributors and makers of LED products in Poland. All insert LED® products are currently assembled in the United States and with Philips or Osram diodes and drivers. As demand increases insert LED® will eventually be manufactured in Poland.

How sustainable is insertLED® as a product?

insert LED® is very different to any other street lamp it was conceived as a sustainable product because and the designers have produced an entirely modular product. The face plate is a printed circuit board which can be detached from other components it makes eventual replacement and upgrade of any part possible at any time. The possibility of extending the life cycle of Poland’s existing cobra heads at least another 25 years with a new low energy modular solution makes for a very sustainable product. Very few other products could ever make such a claim.

How is insertLED® Sustainable in Future?

Full life cycle of insert LED® is extended almost indefinitely because many of its components will simple never wear out. The diodes for example are part of a simple face plate which can be quickly replaced at the end of their life cycle. We expect the establishment of repair shops for insert LED® to coincide with the SOWA acquisitions and this will mean the establishment of many local workshops in future.

In the meantime our Research and Development team are contantly looking at higher quality diodes and how the industry in future will uprgade to GaN diodes. With future modular upgrades perfromed at a local level in local workshops our existing product is taking street, security and architectural lighting into a new age



Warsaw 18 August 2014

ReplaceQ: How does a large Capital City reduce utility operational energy cost and mitigate CO² by more than 70% whilst upgrading its WIFI capability, improving city lighting and better controlling traffic to reduce the impact of pollution? A: Get “SmartPOLES®”

Upgrading existing infrastructure to SmartPOLES® means LED Lighting without disruption Plug and Play. SmartPOLES®… Read More

Warsaw 6 January 2014

2012-02-09You are twice as likely to die in a road traffic accident in Poland than elsewhere in the EU. You are three times more likely to a die in a road accident in Poland than you are in the United Kingdom. No wonder then at the frustration of the Polish population over accident statistics in Poland… Read More

Warsaw, Poland 27 March 2013

Introdcuing Insert LED

insert LED® is different – at last high power LED insert lighting simply plug and play into existing street or security lighting. SOLIDEA Group insert LED® program was designed to help the transition from HPS [High Pressure Sodium] lighting to LED. Our mission was to find a low cost… Read More