The town of Smithtown, New York, located in Suffolk County on Long Island, has initiated an ambitious LED streetlight installation program, which initially involves over one thousand energy efficient streetlight fixtures. This project, considered a pilot by city officials, is funded by an award from the Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The award of $1 million will be used to purchase and install 1,100 LED streetlight fixtures manufactured by BetaLED, a division of Ruud Lighting of Wisconsin.
“We initially thought we would install induction streetlights, but after comparing induction, LED and high pressure sodium (HPS) technology, we found that LED fixtures produced a much better quality light. The spread on the LED fixtures was better, and the light was crisper and cleaner and met our town’s lighting needs the best,” said Mitchell Crowley, director of traffic safety for the town of Smithtown. The town evaluated the three lighting technologies in an earlier pilot program. The current EECBG funded installation began in early December 2010, and will be continually tested and monitored for performance and quality. Based on the success of the current installation, long term goals include replacing the remaining 12,000 Smithtown streetlights with LED fixtures. “We plan on investing another $500,000 in additional energy efficient lighting within the next year,” said Crowley.
The town currently budgets about $1 million for streetlighting, which does not include maintenance. By switching to LED streetlight fixtures, Crowley estimates reducing energy consumption by about 50%, resulting in about $150,000 in annual savings. In addition to energy savings, Crowley anticipates significant savings for the town’s maintenance budget. “Overhead lighting requires crews to spend a substantial amount of their time on responding to streetlight issues and maintenance. We look forward to eliminating this significant time commitment by switching to LEDs, and redeploying our crews to other pressing projects,” said Crowley.