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London to light way with LEDs

London yesterday launched an attempt to become the first city in the world to be lit by LEDs – light-emitting diodes. The city aims to install LEDs in all its street lights within five years.

Nicky Gavron, the deputy mayor, yesterday unveiled four demonstration projects – in Potters Field Park, near City Hall in Southwark, and on footpaths in Greenwich and Barnet. Another 10 projects will be rolled out across the capital this year. "We hope that all lighting in residential streets will be LED by the end of 2012," she said.

LED lighting, which is generated from energy-efficient crystals on a superconductor chip, uses up to 40 per cent less energy than current street lights, but gives twice as much vision from side to side, and eliminates pools of darkness.

Ms Gavron said that LEDs would help make the city's streets much safer at night, especially for women.