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LED Streetlight Conversion

The benefits of converting our street lights to LED by 2021
Post Date:10/24/2019 2:42 PM

What is the scope of the LED street light conversion program?

The City owns about 6,000 street lights. Approximately half of these lights have already been converted to LED fixtures through various capital improvement programs with the remaining half planning to be replaced by 2021. 

led street light

Why are we switching to LEDs?

Cities around the world are switching to LED lights as a way to save both money and energy while simultaneously increasing safety and visibility. We feel that technology improvements have somewhat plateaued so now is the right time for the switch.  We feel that the following benefits warranted switching to LED at this time:

  • Better visibility. Compared to the traditional orange/yellow light, LED streetlights provide a white directional light, creating more uniformity.
  • Dark-sky friendly. LED lights allow little to no uplight, reducing light pollution and allowing people to see stars and planets more clearly.
  • Energy savings. LEDs use about 50 percent less energy than typical neighborhood streetlights, so energy costs will be lower.
  • Longer life. LED streetlights are expected to last more than four times longer than current streetlights. That means fewer outages and fewer repair trips.
  • Recyclable. LED streetlight components are recyclable. Current streetlights have components that are not recyclable.

Will the new lights be able to be dimmed or wirelessly controlled?

No. As part of the LED Streetlight Retrofit project, representatives of the City evaluated in detail an option to install smart/connected lighting controls as part of the LED retrofit. However, this option was not pursued due to the high expense it would incur.

The new LED lights retain the option of installing such controls in the future through the use of a 7-pin photocell on each fixture. This 7-pin photocell provides extra “sockets” allowing the City to plug in controls or other technologies in the future should that become desirable and cost effective.

What does “color temperature” mean? What is the color temperature of the new LEDs?

Color temperature of lighting is measured in Kelvin (K) units. Lower temperatures are warmer and yellower; higher temperatures are cooler and bluer. Our existing streetlights have a color temperature of around 2200K. The new LED streetlights installed during this project have a color temperature of 3000K, a warm white that is similar to the “soft white” light color of an incandescent light bulb. 

In selecting the color temperature of the new LEDs, the City prioritized the recommendations of groups such as the International Dark Sky Alliance and American Medical Association, which recommend an LED color temperature of 3000K or less in order to minimize impacts on nocturnal wildlife, reduce glare and sky glow, and improve nightscapes.

Who do I call to report a streetlight that is not working or is damaged?

You can report street light outages online or by calling the Department of Public Works at (414) 471-8422.

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