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Colorado Springs installs LED streetlights

LED Streetlights

Streetlight upgrades are producing “smart” cities.

Colorado Springs, Colo., is moving forward with its second installation of light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights. According to New Streetlights, the city previously replaced 370 high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor cobra head streetlights with solid-state fixtures and saved 50 percent on energy costs. The next installation will include 95 LEDs in Colorado Springs’ downtown area.

The first installation was estimated to save the city $25,000 on energy costs, and the newest lights will save Colorado Springs an additional $7,500 annually, according to the source. For the first installation, the city received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. The second installation is being supported through parking funds.

With an annual streetlight budget of approximately $4 million, Colorado Springs owns and maintains more than 25,000 streetlights, so energy-efficient lighting was something they were looking for to help cut costs, New Streetlights reported.

“LED streetlights are perceived as a brighter, whiter, safer light,” said Nick Kittle, Colorado Springs’ city manager of administrative services and innovation, for the city of Colorado Springs.

He also said that the LEDs will provide residents with better light quality and improved illumination to increase public safety in the city’s downtown. Once the downtown project is complete, the city is planning for summer and fall projects, as it hopes to continue installing LEDs on the north side of the city.

In February, the city of Colorado Springs turned lights off in order to save money on energy costs. It said it turned off at least 8,000 streetlights for about 10 weeks.

“We have more than 24,000 streetlights within the city limits and the energy cost alone to keep all those lights on is about $3.2 million each year,” said City Traffic Engineer Dave Krauth. “By shutting off between 8,000 and 10,000 of the most inefficient lights, we expect to save taxpayers slightly over $1.2 million each year.”

Because the city was able to move forward with another installation of LEDs, streetlights in the city will start to turn back on.

The lighting specialists from Lumenistics can provide city officials with more information on the benefits of energy-efficient streetlights.

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