Cities have reaped substantial savings as a result of retrofitting streetlights, in both energy and maintenance. With the assistance of PenLight, the city of Gig Harbor converted all 714 city-owned and maintained light fixtures that used metal halide or high pressure sodium lamps to new higher efficiency LED (light emitting diode) lamps. The conversion allowed the city to maintain the unique decorative streetlighting fixtures used throughout Gig Harbor.
With grants provided by Peninsula Light and funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board, the city was able to recover the entire cost of the $250,000 project.
There are many benefits of the conversion to the new lights. The annual energy savings is about 560,000 kilowatt-hours, a 71 percent savings compared to the older technology. This will save the city about $43,680 annually for electricity. In addition, life expectancy is greater than 20 years with little light depreciation, so maintenance costs will be substantially less.
Improvement in lighting quality is also noticeable. Better color rendering for identifying objects results in better visibility, which means improved safety and security. LEDs are more directional. This better control of light means fewer “hot spots” or over-lighting. With more uniform light, less light is needed so more than 90 percent of the light emitted is used to light roadways and sidewalks. For this reason and because the LEDs have a flat, full cut-off lens that reflects less light into the atmosphere, the result is reduced light pollution.
Peninsula Light conservation staff is available to serve the needs of the community, and welcomes the opportunity to help local businesses and institutions achieve higher energy efficiency. Visit Penlight.org for more information.