Cities across the nation- and here in the East Bay- are retrofitting streetlights from HPS to LED light bulbs. HPS, or high pressure sodium, bulbs are widely used in streetlights but lack efficiency compared to LED, or light-emitting diode bulbs. Although LEDs are relatively expensive initially, they present many long-term advantages over other bulbs, including a longer lifetime and lower energy consumption. Cities are seeing a quick return on investment with substantial long-term savings and reduced energy use.
There are numerous benefits to retrofitting streetlights to LEDs:
1. LEDs consume half the electricity of most other bulbs and therefore significantly reduce CO2 emissions
2. A retrofit project in Antioch estimates CO2 emissions will be reduced by 1825 tons per year!
3. LEDs can last up to five times longer than HPS and other bulbs.
4. HPS bulbs need to be changed five times more often than LEDs, and therefore have higher maintenance costs.
5. It costs $44 million to replace 40,000 HPS bulbs –before LED lamps need a first replacement!
6. LEDs provide more focused light with a cooler feel and less glare.
7. Can contribute to the local economy: hire subcontractors and equipment rentals from your local providers
Cities with inefficient HPS or other streetlight bulbs that are looking to save money and reduce their energy consumption should consider a retrofit project. Public works departments, local governments and non-governmental environmental groups have spearheaded retrofit efforts.
Retrofit projects are seen in cities across the East Bay:
- Danville consumes 50% less energy thanks to the LED streetlight retrofit in their city:
- Martinez expects total annual savings of $15,800 with the replacement of 114 streetlights to LEDs:
- Moraga triumphs in retrofitting their streetlights to LEDs:
- San Ramon converts approximately 600 HPS bulbs to LEDs:
- Antioch participates in large-scale retrofitting project, replacing nearly 9,000 bulbs for LEDs:
- El Cerrito replaces existing bulbs with LEDs along the Ohlone Greenway and San Pablo Rd:
- Walnut Creek has seen energy usage cut in half with installation of new LEDs in streetlights:
Cities are making retrofit to LEDs projects possible with grant funding, such as the US Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) through the California Energy Commission.
The California Energy Commission’s Energy Technology Assistance Program (ETAP) will provide free assistance to cities interested in retrofitting existing streetlights to LED bulbs. ETAP will assist public agencies with a 20-70% energy savings. Take advantage of this free technical assistance here:
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