The city of Lake Charles, Louisiana, recently completed a project that tested LED streetlight technology in preparation for its upcoming Ryan Streetscape renovation project.
Led by the Lake Charles Downtown Development Authority Board, the city installed decorative fixtures, and both citizens and municipal officials evaluated and compared LED and metal halide technology. In addition to new streetlights, the Ryan Streetscape project has a “street calming” component which involves reducing the downtown thoroughfare to two lanes, widening sidewalks and improving pedestrian traffic flow. The city plans to install about one hundred new decorative fixtures in the downtown area of Lake Charles. The new fixtures will be owned and maintained by the city.
“Based on the demonstration and energy calculations, we are choosing to recommend LED streetlights for our traditional downtown area,” said Lori Marinovich, director of the Lakefront Downtown Development Authority for the city Lake Charles. “The perception was that the LED fixtures gave off a better light than the metal halide fixtures. The metal halides seemed to cast shadows and did not illuminate as well,” said Marinovich. Plans for up to 104 new decorative fixtures are being developed and Lake Charles is in the process of securing funding of approximately $90,000. The Ryan Streetscape would be the second installation of LED streetlights for the city. An earlier installation of approximately 100 decorative LED streetlight fixtures, manufactured by Philips Lumec, of Quebec, Canada, on the Lakefront Promenade, has already shown to be successful. The Philips Lumec fixtures are strong candidates for the upcoming project.
The city of Lake Charles is in the process of developing a green initiative to increase energy efficiency throughout the city. Energy efficient streetlights are included in this initiative. As funding sources are identified, the city intends to pursue additional installations. The city currently budgets $1.38 million annually for the city’s lighting. City officials anticipate significant cost savings for both reduced energy consumption and reduced maintenance as a result of the longer life of LED lamps.