LED street lighting

Location: Bucaramanga, Colombia

Population: 521,857 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Tropical monsoon

Duration: 2014-active

Sector: Lighting

Funding sources: Public

City Networks: Colombian Federation of Municipalities (FCM)

Savings: Energy costs foreseen to decrease by 61% (BaU scenario).

Solutions: Creation of a PPP to install LED lights and telemanagement system for outdoor street lighting.

Multiple benefits: Increased safety for citizens.

In Colombia, the City of Bucaramanga upgraded its public lighting system by installing light-emitting diode (LED) lights to improve energy efficiency in various areas of the city, including the provincial bridge Viaducto de la Novena.

Objective – To implement energy efficiency actions in order to reduce GHG emissions and to improve infrastructure and social behaviour.

Solutions –The project involved the creation of a public-private partnership (PPP) between the municipality and the Schréder Lighting to upgrade the public lighting of the city, including the main streets and the bridge of Viaducto de la Novena. The upgrade included the installation of LED and telemanagement system for monitoring, controlling, metering and managing the outdoor lighting.

Funding – Public funds were allocated by the Ministry of Infrastructure. The funds come from taxes for electricity consumers in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings [source].

Innovation – The Viaducto de la Novena uses a computerised lighting system, the first of its kind installed on a bridge in South America. The technology used is innovative as it has reproduces 23 frames of images per second, thus improving the quality of lighting as well as providing architecturally beautiful infrastructures [source].

Success factors – The development of this lighting project benefitted from the city’s shift from private to public maintenance and expansion of public street lighting. Until 2013, private investors funded and managed the lighting services in Bucaramanga. Thus, this shift allowed the local government and the public actors to directly implement and manage policies for sustainable urban development, in particular the regulations for lighting.

Significant outcomes:

  • 40% (out of 50,000) public lights upgraded with LED technology;
  • Safety in vulnerable areas of the city increased;
  • Energy costs and CO2 emissions forecasted to decrease by 61% (in relation to the Business as Usual scenario) as result of the project.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Public Lighting Modernization Plan (Plan de Modernización del Alumbrado Público) of the municipality of Bucaramanga;
  • Directives for the metropolitan area of Bucaramanga aiming at the inclusion of local government in management of energy services;
  • FCM membership supports the decentralisation and local governance of public lighting in the Colombian territory [source]. The ultimate goal of this city network is to enhance energy efficient actions in the sectors of public lighting in urban areas [source];
  • Spatial Planning of Bucaramanga, Agreement 034 of 2000 (Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial de Bucaramanga Acuerdo 034 de 2000) and Municipal Planning for the development of Bucaramanga, Agreement 006 of 2008 (Plan de Desarrollo Municipal de Bucaramanga Acuerdo 006 de 2008) target both public lighting and energy efficiency [sect. I, art. 10].

Political alignment:

  • General Environmental Law (Ley General Ambiental) – Law 99 promotes the development of sustainable energy sources;
  • Resolution 40122 of February 8, 2016 – Technical Regulation of Lighting and Public Lighting (RETILAP) aims at involving citizens in the implementation of lighting and street lighting actions;
  • Energy Plan 2050 (Plan Energético Nacional Colombia: Ideario Energético 2050) concerns on meeting the goals about energy efficiency by aiming at retrofitting at least the 30% of street lighting in Columbia by 2050;
  • Law 1665 – Statute of the International Renewable Energies Agency (IRENA) focuses on enhancing Colombia’s actions for efficient and sustainable use on energy through policy support;
  • Programme for Rational and Efficient Use of Energy and Other Forms of Non-Conventional Energy (Resolution 180919 of July 16, 2013) is the strategic planning of energy consumption in the building, industrial, lighting, commercial, and public sectors.


  • Planned expansion of this model to other municipalities in Colombia through in partnership with the company Eletrificadora de Santander S.A. (ESSA)

Schréder is planning to upgrade public lighting in the main avenues in the cities of Pasto, Montería, and Bogotá [source].

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Sector: Lighting

Country / Region: Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern America, United States

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Schréder Group