Smart LED Retrofit

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Population: 2,891,000 [metropolitan area]

Climate: Humid subtropical

Duration: 2013-2016

Sector: Public lighting

Funding sources: Public

City networks: C40, ICLEI

Savings: Energy use and operational lighting costs reduced by 50%.

Solutions: Installation of 91,000 LED streetlights.

Multiple benefits: Citizen and traffic safety increased. City aesthetic improved.

The Smart LED Retrofit in Buenos Aires replaced the incandescent lighting of the whole city with smart light-emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). Phillips Lighting won the project in public-bidding process.

Objective – To address increasing energy costs and light pollution issues and to achieve better control lighting throughout the city.

Solutions – The project replaced 91,000 streetlights (which corresponds to 72% of the area’s lighting). The new streetlights include the remote control system CityTouch Telemanagement Platform, which allows monitoring of each light point. The project also included the installation of 138,000 traffic lights with LED bulbs [source]

Funding – The City of Buenos Aires provided the funds for the project.

Innovation – This retrofit project used new LEDs, which can be remotely controlled enabling the optimal operation of each luminaire by switching off or dimming the lighting levels. As Buenos Aires is the largest and most populated city in Argentina, this project has a large-scale effect on Argentinean street lighting policy.

Success factors – Hosting major environmental conferences, such as the Fourth and the Tenth Conferences of the Parties (COP4 and COP10), raised the environmental awareness and concern of Buenos Aires and of Argentina. Furthermore, the increase of electricity costs and budget constraints affected the city government to launch reforms targeting the energy sector. The willingness to undertake energy reforms emerged also because the city administration recognised the lack of coordination across the 32 companies working on the local infrastructures. This scenario led the city to initiate a transformation of local public lighting [source].

Significant outcomes:

  • CO2 emissions reduced, up to 24,000 tons annually;
  • Energy use reduced by 50%, up to 44.5 million kWh of electricity annually;
  • Operational lighting costs reduced by 50%, generating savings of more than USD 7.4 mln annually [source];
  • Visibility improved;
  • Traffic safety increased;
  • Citizens safety increased;
  • Lighting life-time increased by 5 times than conventional lighting [source];
  • Esthetical improvement.

Synergies with other policies:

  • Energy Efficiency Law, resulting from  the Program of Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings, aims at incorporating more efficient technologies for street lighting and traffic lights;
  • This project is a part of 2014 Plan for the Conversion of Public Street Lighting (Plan de Reconversión del Alumbrado Público);
  • C40 member city;
  • ICLEI member city.

Political Alignment:


  • Philips is a partner of The Climate Group’s project LED scale up whose goal is to make all public lighting worldwide LED (or as energy efficient as possible) by 2025;

Philips implemented similar projects in Sweden, the Netherlands, Madrid, Los Angeles and more locations. Thus, there is a concrete potential to replicate this project at international level [sourcesourcesource].

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Sectors: Digital, Lighting

Country / Region: Argentina, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern America, Spain, Sweden, United States

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Philips