Public lighting LED retrofits with remote monitoring systems

Location: Sonsonate, El Salvador

Population: 49,129 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Tropical

Duration: 2015

Sector: Lighting

Funding sources: Public

City networks: N/A

Savings: Energy savings equal to 50%.

Solutions: Installation of more than 4000 LED lights with remote monitoring system.

Multiple benefits: Maintained costs reduced and increased citizens’ security.

In the city of Sonsonate, El Salvador, the public lighting upgraded its light-emitting diode (LED) technology by adding a General Electric (GE) system. This is a conjoint project between AES El Salvador, UNITAPE LATINOAMERICA and GE. This is an example of a project developed and implemented through a partnership between local public sector and private energy companies.

Objective – To provide long-term quality lighting and energy savings for the city.

Solutions – The project consists in upgrading the public lighting by installing 4,066 LED lights with a GE LightTouch remote monitoring system. This project upgraded the street lighting in entire city and the Municipal Stadium “Ana Mercedes Campos”.

Funding – The funds for the project were public.

Innovation – Sonsonate is the first city in Latin America which adopted remote management for public lighting system. Also, by covering the street lighting of the whole city, the project had a large coverage.

Success factors – The Sonsonante region, whose capital is Sonsonante, is defined as the most violent region in El Salvador, thus the local authorities seek for the improvement of safety for the citizens. This lead to the commitment by the municipality to upgrade the public lighting in Sonsonate, which created a solid base for the development and the implantation of this project, as it is a Private Public Partnership (PPP). Through the remote control of the ignition and lighting levels, this technology leads to generate energy savings while increasing the safety of the citizens. Therefore, the achieved outcomes are strongly correlated to the political engagement in the lighting sector.


Significant outcomes:

  • Electricity savings up to 50% in comparison to the usage of 175 Mw mercury lamp, i.e. the ones installed before the upgrade;
  • Cost of maintenance reduced as result of the project;
  • Visual uniformity improved, which leads to higher safety for the citizens.

Synergies with local policies:

Political alignment: 

  • National Energy Commission Law, Decree No. 404, establishes the National Energy Commision (Consejo Nacional de Energia) for the development of energy affairs
  • National Energy Policy 2010-2024 by the National Energy Commission (Consejo Nacional de Energia) aims at improving the role of the public sector in the energy sector


  • This project instructed the Mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa Londoñ, to propose a street lighting upgrade.

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Sector: Lighting

Country / Region: El Salvador, Latin America and the Caribbean

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: LEDinside