PUD changing to energy-efficient LED street lighting

Aug 01, 2013

The Snohomish County PUD has launched a systematic conversion of streetlight fixtures it owns and maintains to energy-efficient LEDs.

Compared with the high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights they will replace, the LEDs will provide better lighting, have 2-3 times the service life and use just one-third as much energy.

As part of its regular maintenance cycle, the utility plans to change nearly 36,000 fixtures over about five years.

Contract crews will do most of the work, starting in the outermost areas of the PUD’s service territory – to the northwest, north and east – and gradually working back toward the more densely populated areas.

Since 2011, the PUD has installed more than 100 LED fixtures in test neighborhoods, with positive results.

The technology has developed to the point that LEDs are now the PUD’s most cost-effective option for streetlights.

Electric utilities across the country are making the switch to LED street lights.

LEDs also offer improved light quality. They produce a whiter, more diffused light than HPS lamps, provide better color recognition and offer more control of light patterns.

Energy-efficient lighting not only reduces short-term costs by using less power, it can produce big savings over the long term by better enabling the PUD to meet load growth without purchasing more power or building new generation facilities.

The longer service life of LEDs will reduce costs associated with replacing lights.

This gradual conversion to LEDs applies only to streetlights the PUD owns and maintains.

Some streetlights are owned by municipalities, which will continue to make their own choices regarding the fixtures they use.

The PUD offers energy-efficiency incentives to municipalities for upgrading HPS street lighting to LED.

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