Where does our artificial light? And why should we handle it sparingly to protect our environment? Up to four billion kWh in Germany every year spent on electricity for lighting of streets, squares and bridges, which corresponds to a sum of about 760 million euros. This more than two million tonnes of CO2 are released into the atmosphere of our planet. The German light rent is firmly convinced that this is too much and would like to contribute to a reduction in costs and CO2 emissions.
Light from the sun is our only source of natural light. Alternative light sources such as firewood, candles, torches or modern light bulbs that light up the night for us, are produced artificially and require the information stored in the material resources of energy. Nowadays, the production of artificial light works mostly on a mechanical basis by means of the use of electricity as an energy source. But electricity is based on of material energy. Light or the illumination of our living needs about 2.35% of the primary energy produced from fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal, renewable energy sources such as wind and water, and not least of nuclear power worldwide. The proportion of the total electrical energy makes up about 19%. This corresponds to 2,700 terawatt hours per year.
With an estimated energy cost of 15 cents per kWh, the annual electricity costs of the world amount to a total of 405 billion euros. In Germany alone there are about 9.1 million street lamps, of which one third is over 30 years old and used outdated, inefficient lighting technologies. Approximately 35% to 40% of all lights are still operated with high pressure mercury vapor lamps. With a switch to LED technology the potential savings for municipalities is around 400 million euros per year.