The city of Yakima, Washington, initiated the first phase of an LED streetlight retrofit program in July 2010. The deployment involves replacement of 459 existing high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights with LED fixtures. The city has initially targeted residential and business areas with high wattage HPS streetlights. The majority of the streetlights slated for replacement are 310 watt and 400 watt HPS fixtures along major arterial roadways and intersections.
Funding for the project is through an award from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and rebates from local electricity supplier, Pacific Power. The total funding for the project is $384,155.
“We have been testing LED fixtures over a period of about two years. We have had very positive results, including the feedback that LED streetlights provide better lighting,” said Rick Dwyer, traffic operations supervisor for the city of Yakima. The city is installing fixtures manufactured by BetaLED. “We chose the BetaLED fixtures because they meet ARRA requirements for being American made and are also very easy to maintain,” said Dwyer.
The City of Yakima’s LED streetlight pilot findings were that LED streetlights could reduce energy consumption by as much as 65% when compared with the existing HPS technology. A typical 465 watt intersection HPS streetlight fixture is being replaced with an LED fixture which only uses 159 watts of power, yet generates equivalent or better light output. According to Dwyer, the majority of savings will come as a result of reduced maintenance. Dwyer said that at least one cycle of re-lamping will be eliminated by switching to LED technology, which will allow street crews to conduct more preventative maintenance.
All existing Yakima streetlights are owned and maintained by the city of Yakima. City employees are installing the LED streetlights. According to city officials, long-term plans include replacement of all existing HPS streetlights with LED and some induction fixtures. The city currently owns and maintains approximately 5,000 streetlights.