The Snohomish Public Utility District (SnoPUD), in Washington state, recently proposed a full-scale replacement of all of the utility owned streetlights to energy efficient LED streetlights. This proposal would be implemented over a five year period and would include the replacement of about 38,000 existing streetlights to LED fixtures.
“Previous test installations convinced us that LED technology is the right choice for the service area,” said Dave Lindemuth, streetlighting engineer for the SnoPUD. The utility previously tested LED streetlight fixtures manufactured by BetaLED/Cree of Sturtevant, Wisconsin, GE Lighting of East Cleveland, Ohio, and Leotek Electronics of Milpitas, California. The mostly cobra head-style fixtures were tested in side-by-side installations throughout residential areas, and replaced existing 100 watt high pressure sodium streetlights. “We heard only positive comments from the communities where we tested these streetlights,” said Lindemuth. One challenge that was noted as a result of the pilot program, was the potential failure of a fixture’s photocell. “We are hopeful that as the technology evolves, and LED streetlights are equipped with timers, rather than photocells, failure of that component will not be an issue,” said Lindemuth.
In addition to energy cost savings from the switch to LED streetlighting, the PUD will also see significant savings as a result of reduced maintenance requirements for the solid-state lighting fixtures. Current plans include replacing existing high pressure sodium streetlights ranging from 100 watts to 400 watts. The new LED streetlights will use up to 50% less power than the existing HPS streetlights. “Plans are to begin the project by the summer of 2013, and install between 6,000 and 7,000 streetlights each year. The specifications are still being determined by the standards department of the SnoPUD,” said Lindemuth.