LED streetlights are proving superior to induction streetlights, according to the preliminary findings of officials running the energy efficient streetlight pilot in Palo Alto, California.
The Palo Alto pilot is relatively small in scale and being conducted on two residential streets and a downtown street near City Hall. A total of nine lights are already producing data and information for project manager Christine Tam, whose goal is to eventually replace nearly 6,300 existing lights in the city.
While LED luminaires, manufactured by Beta LED, are the primary focus of this pilot, Palo Alto is also testing induction lights as a basis for comparison. So far, according to Tam, the induction lights are not showing as much energy savings as the LEDs. However, Tam cautions, “We have not tested the full range of wattage for induction lights, but at the 70w level, we are not seeing the same level of savings as we are with LEDs.”
As a follow up to the existing pilot, Palo Alto is planning on testing additional fixtures with different color temperatures.
Of potential interest to municipalities considering LED streetlight conversion, the city of Palo Alto, along with Stanford University students, has developed a unique LED lighting calculator which assists city officials in calculating return on investment, energy savings, carbon dioxide emissions and reduction of mercury contamination from switching from legacy lighting to LEDs. The lighting calculator also factors in cost savings from decreased maintenance and hazardous waste disposal associated with non-LEDs. According to Tam, “The LED lighting calculator is used for internal economic analysis and is not currently available for public use.”