Some 30 million Latin Americans lack access to electricity. At the same time, many areas in cities or surrounding cities have limited access to electricity services. This is especially true for public spaces like, parks, sports fields, and community centers. A new program called “Light Up Your Life” seeks to address the issue of limited public lighting in public spaces by installing energy efficient LED lighting in 20 community centers in Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil.
We have joined forces with Philips to fund this program and invest in simple innovative solutions like providing efficient LED lighting for community centers. The program seeks to combine the use of efficient and renewable energy technology with the benefits of sports and community life for social development. It also includes a component to offer training for community leaders in sports and to teach them to inspire and develop local youth. The community lighting centers will contribute to:
- Safety – Given that 24% of the population in Latin America believes that crime is the most important issue, it is necessary to develop community lighting programs that help to create safer public spaces.
- Health – Public lighting allows children and adults to exercise, to play sports and to participate in community events at night.
- Efficiency – LED lighting technology has lower operating costs during the estimated life of the system (more than 70,000 hours of operation), higher efficiency, less consumption, less maintenance, and a longer lifespan than traditional lighting..
- Productivity – With the installation of efficient lighting and renewable energy technology, the operation hours of the selected sports fields or community areas will be extended, and citizens will also be able to use public centers for various activities including fairs, presentations, and community celebrations.
- Environment – For solar solutions, on average, solar energy produces approximately 25 times less CO2 and additional greenhouse gases from energy than traditional non-renewable resources. LED technology represents a 75% to 80% savings in energy use as compared to traditional incandescent technology.
“Light Up Your Life” contributes to the goals of Sustainable Energy for All Americas, which is working to double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean. Efficient lighting offers a simple and cost effective solution to building stronger, safer, and more productive communities. How has efficient lighting changed your life? Share your story with us.