Four New Jersey cities have begun testing new street lamps powered by light-emitting diodes. The new LED lamps are expected to reduce energy consumption significantly, have a longer life expectancy than the bulbs currently prevalent in street lamps and contain very little hazardous material.

The test sites will be in the Essex County, N.J., cities of Verona, Trenton, Elizabeth and Camden. Twenty four LED street lamps are being installed without charge to the participating cities or counties. Installation locations include Mt. Prospect and Pompton Avenues in Verona, Jefferson Street and Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth, North Broad Street in Trenton, and Vesper Blvd. in Camden.

PSE&G will be performing multiple tests during the next six to 12 months to determine reliability, light output, light quality, and energy consumption. The municipalities are being asked to monitor their experience with the new type of lighting from a pedestrian perspective and to provide feedback to PSE&G regarding their satisfaction with the quality of the light.

Light Emitting Diode (LED) technologies in street lighting are expected to reduce energy consumption by up to 70 percent while providing an equal or better illumination. In addition, they have a potential life expectancy of three to four times that of the current high intensity discharge (HID) sources like high pressure sodium and metal halide. LEDs are constructed by assembling multiple diodes connected together to form an array and then assembling multiple arrays to complete the fixture.

LEDs are considered green alternatives because of their extremely low hazardous materials content and the fact that reducing energy consumption significantly will reduce the need for electric generation that produces carbon dioxide into the environment.

"We eagerly anticipate this technology producing a brighter light, enhancing traffic safety, reducing energy consumption and supporting efforts to identify renewal resources," said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Today's installations are the company's first look into this technology and will permit a real world test of manufacturer and industry claims on energy savings, visual effect and reliability. Following review and analysis of the program, PSE&G will then determine where and how this technology can be deployed in its street lighting and area lighting systems along city and county roads in the communities it serves.