I was sent a link to an article about new street light technology that saves on energy costs. I sent it to staff for their reaction and received this great response back.
Street lighting cost the City $1.1M in 2012, or 19% of our electricity budget.
The City of Guelph owns the streetlights and Guelph Hydro Electric Systems (GHESI) maintains them.
We are investigating new technology with GHESI – LED lighting. This, combined with existing networking technology, would allow us to do most if not all of the things described in the article.
LED technology offers the following additional benefits compared to traditional high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) lighting:
Dramatic energy savings – up to 75%. This does not include the savings resulting from the motion awareness technology in the article.
- Public health benefits – LEDs illuminate the area directly below the fixture, with minimal light trespass. This results in less ambient light in residents’ sleeping quarters, resulting in better quality of sleep and lower instances of heart disease and a variety of other ailments.
- Security – LEDs offer better colour rendering, allowing for more accurate descriptions of suspects in criminal activity (a red car appears red under LEDs; not so under MH/HPS). Also LEDs can be set to brighter levels during public events such as Nuit Blanche, reducing opportunity for crimes such as pick-pocketing.
- Safety – LED streetlights can be integrated with 911 dispatch, so that the location of the call can be lit in some way (flashing, colour, etc.) to direct first responders.
- Environment – LED streetlights are dark sky compliant, reducing impacts on bird migration, insect populations, and amateur astronomers.
- Maintenance – LED streetlight fixtures have warranties in the range of ten years. They lose only an element at a time, and the fixture has dozens of elements. The remaining elements can be turned up to compensate, until enough fail to warrant replacement. HPS/MH lights have one element – when it burns out, it burns out completely and the entire bulb must be replaced, with the attendant maintenance cost and disposal impact (due to heavy metals and other toxic components).
This is a great example of how new technology will allow us to do more with less.