Baytown, Texas has deployed the city’s first LED streetlight pilot in collaboration with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and LED streetlight manufacturer, BetaLED. The pilot, located on Highway 146 at the Garth Road overpass, is designed to test LED streetlight applications on interstate freeways and highways. If the performance and economics associated with the LED fixtures are found satisfactory, installations throughout the state of Texas are possible. For the pilot installation, BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting of Wisconsin, supplied six LED streetlight fixtures. The fixtures each have 240 LEDs and are 291 watt equivalent fixtures. The streetlights will be installed on three conventional highway light poles.
“This is the first installation of LED roadway fixtures on an interstate or state highway in the state of Texas,” said Drew Potts, purchasing manager for the city of Baytown. According to Potts, TxDOT is using this installation to test and evaluate LED streetlighting technology and compare it to the existing 400 watt high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights currently lighting the roadway. TxDOT has not approved LED technology for interstate or state highways, therefore the results of this pilot will play a role in determining whether or not the state will pursue LED fixtures for future installations.
The city of Baytown is eager to move forward with additional LED streetlight installations. The city has already converted all of its traffic signals to LEDs and would like to begin replacing existing HPS roadway lights. “The short life of our existing HPS streetlights creates a significant burden for our road department, in terms of cost and maintenance personnel. The longer life and greater energy efficiency of LED fixtures will result in energy savings, cost savings, and will allow us to use our maintenance staff more effectively,” said Potts. City officials anticipate energy use to be reduced between 65 percent and 80 percent. Under current structure with TxDOT, the city of Baytown pays for all energy costs and maintenance related to roadway lights located on the city’s highways.