On Monday, Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) City Councilman William Peduto released a plan to convert the city’s 40,000 streetlights to LED lights, potentially saving taxpayers more than $2.5 million and reducing more than 984 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year.
“This is a plan that saves taxpayers millions of dollars, while also protecting the environment,” LEDs Magazine quoted Councilman Peduto as saying. “LED street lights use less energy, require less maintenance, provide a brighter light, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and contain no mercury. This is a win-win situation.”
According to the magazine, a spokesperson for Peduto said the proposal’s approval timeline is not clear, as it may get held for a public hearing. He said it will come up for some form of action next week, but likely will be held for true action until January.
Benefits as stated in the Councilman’s report are as follows:
1) Pittsburgh currently spends $3.2 million each year in electricity costs for our street lights. With the reduction of 137W of energy used by each of the 40,000 lights in the City of Pittsburgh, taxpayers will save $1.92 million per year in energy costs.
Pittsburgh currently spends approximately $1 million each year maintaining our streetlights. An HPS bulb has 2 – 4 year life span versus 10 – 15 years for an LED light. Additionally, an LED fixtures burns out one LED at a time, which is in contrast to the current lights HPS lights which completely blow out all at once. This is expected to save taxpayers approximately $700,000/year in maintenance costs.
2) A 200W LED light only uses 93W of power. However, the existing 150W High Power Sodium (HPS) bulbs use approximately 230W (includes the ballast) of power. Therefore, over the year, the City of Pittsburgh will save 600 kWh of energy. This translates into 984 lbs of carbon dioxide emissions eliminated by switching all lights to LED.
LED lights turn on and off instantly with no warm up time. The existing HPS bulbs have a slow warm up period that is a waste of energy. Additionally, the existing sodium bulbs contain mercury in the ballasts, LED lights have no mercury.
LED lights produce a white light that stimulates the rods and the cones of our eyes. This creates a higher quality white light, while using less energy than the HPS lights that only stimulate the cones of our eyes and produce a yellow-orange light.
Peduto’s plan estimates the cost to replace 40,000 lights is approximately $24 million.
The report also maintains that “with an annual savings of $2,620,000 upon complete conversion, the City can fully payoff the LED conversion in 10.5 years.”