Industry newsYou are here: Home > Industry news

PWC to convert 300 streetlights to brighter, more energy-efficient LED lights


2013, brighter, more efficient streetlights will begin to go up in Fayetteville neighborhoods.

As part of a pilot study by the Public Works Commission, the city-owned utility plans to convert about 300 conventional streetlights to LED bulbs, which last three times as long and use about half the electricity.

The LED, or light-emitting diode, technology has become increasingly common in everything from traffic signals to flat-screen TVs. Big cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle are aggressively switching their public lighting over to LED fixtures to brighten streets and save money in the long run.

Across North Carolina, the "greener" streetlights are beginning to appear in pilot studies in Charlotte, Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Greenville. In November, Asheville began the third and final phase through Progress Energy Carolinas to upgrade LED streetlights on city-maintained roads.

In Fayetteville, PWC installed the first electric streetlight around 1910 on North Cool Spring Street downtown, and more than 40 were added along Hay Street in 1913.

Today, sodium-vapor-powered lights have been ubiquitous across the city for a generation, casting a yellowish glow over streets and sidewalks. Sodium vapor replaced mercury-vapor lights, which were the industry standard in the 1950s and '60s.
But mercury lamps became an environmental liability, and disposing of burned-out mercury bulbs became costly, said Reggie Wallace, interim chief operating officer for PWC's electric system.

He said streetlights with LED fixtures cast white light that spreads out, reducing the dark spots that form between poles with sodium lamps strung along residential streets.

The city already has employed LED lights downtown with the development of N.C. Veterans Park, which opened last year. The new lights are up in the parking lot and along Bragg Boulevard next to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum. And the Amtrak station parking lot has recently converted to LED lighting with a federal grant, said Craig Hampton, the city's special projects director.

For the pilot study, PWC hopes to identify which neighborhoods will get the new streetlights early next year and begin installing them in March.

Wallace said PWC wants to test putting them up in various locations using different manufacturers' LED products.

"We are trying to spread them out over the city, so we can get feedback from a lot of folks," Wallace said.

While LED fixtures are still more than three times the cost of purchasing a sodium-vapor bulb, the price of $400 for one LED fixture has dropped 20 percent in just the past year since PWC began planning the pilot study, said Carolyn Justice-Hinson, the utility's main spokeswoman. And more manufacturers are joining in the craze, which should lead to cheaper prices in the future, she said.

PWC has another motive for the pilot study: The General Assembly in 2007 passed a law requiring public utilities to start investing in renewable energy and power-saving measures such as LED lights.

In most cases, PWC will use the same poles and replace the bulbs and fixtures hanging over the roadways. But PWC will use the study to decide whether cul-de-sacs, for instance, need brighter LED bulbs than those that will go up on blocks of streets.

"But in some neighborhoods, they are under-lit, so we may need to add poles," Wallace said.

Eventually, PWC plans to replace all 27,000 streetlights with LED fixtures - a process that Wallace said could take five years.

上一条: NDS Surgical Imaging... 下一条:Coney Island’s Landm...