In 2015, Hungary took a significant step towards a brighter future by upgrading the public lighting systems of seventeen cities across the country. During a period of ambitious projects, traditional lighting systems of these Hungarian settlements were replaced with cutting edge LED-based technology. In total, these developments have led to a reduction of almost 50 percent in annual energy expenditures. Altogether, these projects have successfully achieved close to 4000 megawatts of annual energy savings. This is roughly equal to the annual energy consumption of almost 2000 households.
Besides significant energy and cost savings, the new lighting systems have reduced CO2 emissions by 1400 tons annually in total, contributing to environmentally friendly operations. These achievements also support Hungary and therefore the EU by successfully accomplishing the commitments set forth at the United Nations Climate Change Conference – held in Paris 2015, where the decision makers set a goal of limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius (°C) compared to pre-industrial levels and also called for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached by the second half of the 21st century.
In addition, LED fittings also provide a brighter and therefore safer environment for city inhabitants. After the completed projects citizen satisfaction has been measured by a survey in three renewed cities. According to the poll conducted among 1000 adult residents, over 85 percent of the population agreed that the installation of the new lighting system was a good decision and was satisfied with the new LED fittings. Respondents highlighted great light quality, pedestrian crossing and road visibility, and the enhanced cityscape as some of the key improvements of the upgraded lighting system.
LED fittings could easily provide the foundation of the energy infrastructure required for implementing smart solutions and the intelligent infrastructure that citizens would like to encounter throughout their everyday lives. According to a survey, transportation, energy efficiency, safety and intelligent solutions are among the top priorities for Hungarian citizens when asked about improving their urban environment. The survey found that Hungarians wish to live in settlements characterized by innovative and smart solutions, such as efficient traffic planning and city management. Based on the survey's findings, citizens also value LED technology's capacity to not only modernize lighting, but to also manage and forward smog and traffic data by making use of built-in sensors.