City of Boston

At a Glance


Government/Public Administration

Project Type

Data Analysis




Boston, MA


Daniel Willis investigated opportunities for using adaptive scheduling of LED street lighting fixtures in the City of Boston.


Having retrofitted most of its 64,000 electric streetlights with LED lamps, the City of Boston had been successful in reducing energy use by two thirds relative to older fixtures. The City's Environment Department brought on EDF Climate Corps fellow, Daniel Willis, to investigate the extent to which common roadway illumination standards would allow adaptive scheduling of LED street lighting fixtures. The City was particularly interested in identifying the estimated energy and financial savings of doing so.


Daniel reviewed recommendations from prominent roadway lighting organizations and compiled data on the City's LED retrofit. He identified opportunities for energy savings using controlled street lighting. He discovered that adjusting the lighting would allow the City to minimize waste generated from over-lighting and reduce lighting during periods of lower pedestrian activity. Daniel reviewed the many ways cities around the world have used these technologies in order to identify how the City of Boston should best adopt these strategies. 

Potential Impact

Installing a lighting control network throughout the City to align street levels more precisely with roadway illumination standards would reduce the City’s energy use from 21.5 million kWh per year to 15.7 million, an additional 10% reduction from levels prior to the LED retrofit project. This reduction would amount to $744,000 per year in utility bill savings, equivalent to over 1,900 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, the City could expect to extend the useful life of street lighting fixtures, streamline operations and maintenance activities, and more effectively respond to constituent feedback around lighting quality and perception of safety.

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