Life cycle cost analysis of three renewed street lighting installations in Finland

  • Leena TähkämöEmail author
  • Anne Ylinen
  • Marjukka Puolakka
  • Liisa Halonen



Outdoor lighting is facing major changes due to the EU legislation on ecodesign of energy-related products, such as the ban of high-pressure mercury (HPM) lamps widely used in outdoor lighting. This article presents life cycle costs (LCC) of three examples of replacing HPM lamps in street lighting in Finland. The purpose of the article is to assess how the development of light-emitting diode (LED) technology affects LCCs and how the division of LCCs differentiates in the cases.


Two of the cases change from HPM lamps to high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. In the third one, HPM lamps are replaced by LED luminaires. LED technology predictions of price and luminous efficacy are included in different scenarios. The calculations consider investment and operating costs and residual value.

Results and discussion

Each replacement reduces the energy costs approximately by half compared to the original HPM lamp luminaires. Energy costs dominate the LCCs of the HPS lamp installations while investment cost is the dominating one in LED luminaire case. The changes from HPM to HPS technology have payback times lower than 9 years, while changing to LED luminaires is not economic. However, the electricity price is low in this case. The payback times of LED installations can be as low as 6 years if the luminaires are installed in 2015 and an average electricity price is used.


The LCCs of real-life case studies cannot be directly compared, since their luminous properties vary. There is a need for a method for including luminous properties in LCC calculations.


LED Life cycle costs Light-emitting diode Payback time Road lighting Street lighting 



The work is part of an EkoValo research project carried out by Lighting Unit of Aalto University. The EkoValo project is funded by several Finnish companies and municipalities. The project is part of the Sustainable Community Programme (2007–2012) of Tekes—the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leena Tähkämö
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Ylinen
    • 1
  • Marjukka Puolakka
    • 1
  • Liisa Halonen
    • 1
  1. 1.Lighting Unit, School of Electrical EngineeringAalto UniversityAaltoFinland

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