Fairbanks, Alaska, plans to replace as many as 1,800 high pressure sodium lamps with energy efficient LED streetlamps in an ambitious, $3.31 million program.
The project will be opened to competitive bid in October 2009.
In Fairbanks, darkness can last as long as 20 hours a day, so reliable, effective lighting is critical. Based on their own studies and pilots in other cities, Fairbanks officials expect energy cost savings of over 70% compared to traditional high pressure sodium lights. Additional studies also indicate that perhaps little or no maintenance will be required on the LED street lights—possibly up to 20 or 30 years.
According to Donna Gardino, Metropolitan Planning Operator for the city of Fairbanks, “up to 1,800 local street lights will be replaced throughout the cities of Fairbanks and North Pole.”
Engineers in Fairbanks also noted that LED lights would contribute to greater safety on the streets of Fairbanks as well as burn brighter and longer than the traditional high pressure sodium bulbs. City Engineer Jerry Colp said, “We’ve seen that the white light of the LEDs penetrates well through ice fog, thus improving visibility for motorists. The extremely cold temperatures in Fairbanks also extend the operating life of the LED streetlights.”