Buenos Aires is retrofitting its street lights with smart LEDs in order to save electricity and better control lighting throughout the city.

In 2013, the Argentine capital began a public light retrofit project with the goal of replacing 91,000, or 72%, of conventional street lights with energy-efficient LEDs by the end of 2016. The city is well on its way to achieving its goal, as 60,000 street lights have already been retrofitted. So far, these new lights have avoided 9,866 tons of CO2 emissions and generated 14.77 GWh of energy savings. On top of the street light plan, the city has also replaced all 138,000 traffic lights with high-efficiency LED bulbs, leading to a 90% electricity savings.

The LED fixtures generate electricity savings of between 40% and 70% compared to conventional technologies. But the new street lights are not just efficient, they are smart. Buenos Aires’ new street lights include a built-in tele-management system under which every city street light can be controlled remotely from a centralized control panel. This enables the city to turn the lights on incrementally as it gets darker, quickly detect and correct failures, and plan maintenance more efficiently.

24,000 tons of CO2 avoided each year once the project is fully implemented

The challenge

Faced with the threat of rising energy prices and a volatile market, Buenos Aires decided to become a leader in energy efficiency by embarking on this four-year street light retrofit project. The most efficient way to reduce energy costs is to reduce electricity usage, and the city is already making headway on that front, as the initiative saves 44.5 million kWh of electricity annually.


Economic According to estimates, the initiative will reduce electricity consumption by more than 50%, generating savings of more than $7.4 million per year.

Health Traffic accidents are expected to be reduced, as drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists all have better visibility due to new LED street lights.

Social The city expects to see a reduction in crime and increase in use of public space in areas with new LED lights.

About Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the capital and most populous city of Argentina. “Buenos aires” can be translated as “fair winds” or “good airs”. The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 17 million. Buenos Aires is considered an ‘alpha city’ by the study GaWC5. Buenos Aires’ quality of life was ranked 81st in the world and one of the best in Latin America in 2012, with its per capita income among the three highest in the region. Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its preserved Spanish/European-style architecture and rich cultural life.

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