High costs blamed for low LED usage hinh anh 1LED lighting system at the Thu Thiem Bridge (Source: chieusang.com)
Few alternatives to replace broken parts of LED (light-emitting diode) lighting products is making it difficult to install the products in Vietnam's urban areas.

Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Lighting Association and Director of the HCM City Public Lighting Ltd Company Huynh Tri Dung made the statement while addressing the limited use of LED lighting at a conference on August 11.

Dung said that LED lighting had improved, but it was difficult to find alternatives when the products broke.

He said that a high number of LED bulbs used on Thu Thiem bridge were bust and the company had failed to find replacement parts because they were no long manufactured.

According to the HCM City Energy Conservation Centre, the city used 102,500 bulbs for public lighting, but only 1,200 LED lights. The others were high-pressure mercury and high pressure sodium light bulbs.

The city spends about 130 billion VND (5.9 million USD) a year using about 90 million kWh for public lighting.

If the city replaced all its high-pressure mercury (HPM) and high pressure sodium (HPS) light bulbs with LEDs which have a capacity between 65W and 200W, it could save over 55 million kWh per year or 88 billion VND (3.99 million USD), and reduce the emission of 31 tonnes of CO2 into the environment.

Dung said that street lights in the city were designed to use HPM and HPS bulbs, adding that current lamp-posts were incompatible with LEDs.

He said that besides energy saving, the installation of LED lighting was costly.

"It's difficult to attract the private sector to invest in public lighting," he said.

Director of the HCM City Energy Conservation Centre, Huynh Kim Tuoc, said there were various LED lighting products on the market, but careful consideration was needed to select the right one for the city.

Takehiro Ogawa, Acting Director of International Affairs of Ogawa Denki Co., Ltd from Japan, said that public lighting was among the projects that were benefiting from Japanese funding in Vietnam.

More companies are expected to engage in public lighting projects if they are supported by banks.-VNA