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LED Streetlight Replacement Projects Show Huge Savings

A pair of companies has released data from LED streetlight replacements in six cities in Maine, New York and Massachusetts where the municipalities are now collectively saving nearly $1 million per year.

How much does a city save when it replaces its streetlights with LEDs?

It’s a lot — today, the companies Ubicquia and RealTerm Energy reported results from six LED streetlight replacements in Maine, New York and Massachusetts showing a collective savings of nearly $1 million per year in electricity.

The projects, which involved LED installations as well as more advanced controls for dimming the lights and gathering environmental data, reduced power consumption across the six cities by 69 percent.
LEDs, once a small portion of streetlights in the U.S., have exploded in popularity in recent years. According to the most recent data from the Department of Energy, between 2016 and 2018 streetlights went from 28 percent LED to about 49 percent. And that was four years ago — chances are, they make up a solid majority now.

Simply converting to LEDs is a power-saving move on its own, but the DOE recognizes that adding advanced controls to allow for scheduling and dimming reduces power consumption even further. Many cities take the opportunity to add sensors to streetlights while they’re installing the new lights, giving them the ability to track information such as air quality, pedestrian traffic and more.

“Pepperell is strongly committed to climate change issues and considered converting to LEDs as an opportunity to reduce energy consumption. We have also declared ourselves a Dark Sky friendly community and strive to eliminate unneeded nighttime lighting,” said Andrew MacLean, the town administrator of Pepperell, Mass., in a press release from Ubicquia and RealTerm. “This conversion reduces nighttime lighting and glare without compromising the public safety benefits of street lighting.”
Ben Miller is the associate editor of data and business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community features and technical subjects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, and lives in Sacramento, Calif.