A change to an ordinance allowing LED streetlighting on the island of Maui, Hawaii, is under consideration by the County Council. Existing ordinances only permit high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights on island roadways due to sensitive animal species as well as dark sky compliance for observatories. Before any change to the county ordinance occurs, the County Council will need to evaluate the existing ordinances and establish guidelines for new lighting technology.
“Switching to LED streetlights will reduce our energy costs by about 50%,” said David Goode, public works director for the county of Maui. The county currently spends about $2 million per year on streetlighting. According to Goode, the county’s utility, Maui Electric, is receptive to the energy efficient technology and is willing to establish a rate tariff to reflect the reduced energy consumption of LED streetlight fixtures. Streetlights are currently billed at a flat rate.
“The challenge that we face with LED streetlights is reducing blue light while maintaining light quality. The blue light can negatively affect certain species of wild life and is also of concern to astronomers,” said Goode. However, Goode remains confident that as LED technology evolves, these requirements can be achieved. Maui’s current inventory of streetlights is between 6,000 and 7,000 fixtures.