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New Lenox Considers Switch to LED Streetlights

The move would eventually save the village at least $129,000 each year.

New Lenox is considering a switch to LED streetlights, a move that could save the village energy and money.

Trustee Ray Tuminello brought up the option at the most recent Village Board meeting, and everyone appeared to be on board. 

With this change, the village could see a savings of $129,000 every year in electric costs alone. More savings would be realized because less maintenance would be needed.

Currently, the village is responsible for 1,221 light heads. The average wattage estimated for those heads is 235 and the annual cost for each is about $138. 

A change to LED lights would bring the average wattage per head to 85 watts and a cost of $32. The LED heads last 3.5 times longer than the village's current bulbs, Tuminello said, significantly reducing maintenance. 

The village would change over 200 heads a month for six months, costing a total of $672,000. But $237,000 would come from a state program, leavin the village to pay about $435,000. 

If the village financed this project over 48 months, Tuminello said New Lenox would pay about $10,000 monthly over that span. But the new lights would provide monthly savings of $10,750.

"As soon as these things are on, you're instantly saving money," Tuminello said. "It's not about the first 48 months. it's about when all these are paid off, the savings might be $150,000 a year."

Tuminello said that with these lights, there are other benefits the village could take advantage of. For an extra fee, for example, the village could upgrade to use "smart poles," which would allow officials to lower the wattage even further in some areas. He added that the lights could look just as they do now, instead of the "bright blue lights you think of with LED."

"For example, at the Metra lot we could say we want to lower the wattage and save even more money," he said. "It would be to the point where the lights would still appear at full strength, but we'd be saving more. We could even do this on certain roads or areas that don't need wasted electricity."

Tuminello said the village will now work with ComEd to catalog every light head's energy usage and specific wattage. After that, the village could test the lights in a certain area for no cost before moving forward with the project throughout the village. 

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Leonard K May 23, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Early adopters can get burned. What is the reliability of these bulbes? What is the warranty? Give us the 3 manufacturers names you are comparing so we may follow along. If it takes 4 years for them to pay for themselves will there be a savings? What corner is currently using the test fixture that I'm sure you would employ before dropping 1/2 $M of out tax dollars on?
Pennies May 23, 2012 at 07:08 PM
The village should also look at solar power options. As Leonard K stated " Early adopters can get burned." I just installed two solar powered attic fans and am have instantly seen savings on my electric bill due to no electricity being used to power these fans. Solar powered street lights could have a battery that would store the solar energy collected during the day and use it at night. I say no to lower wattage, even at the Metra lot (don't forget about our recent 25% parking fee increase)!
Charles Reasoner May 25, 2012 at 05:05 AM
LED street lights ae much MORE reliable than H.I.D. and last several times as long. This is a no brainer. Check this site to read about LED vs HID: http://www.ecofitlighting.com/ecofit-durastreet-installation-photos.html
Jason Alexander May 25, 2012 at 11:47 AM
@ Chas LED's themselves are very reliable, but the electronics that are required to power an LED array are not so robust. I have several LED lights that died way early- that's indoors, too. $$$ City of Los Angeles LED Pilot Project Minimum Requirements for Testing and Evaluation of LED Equipment In accordance with the “LED Pilot Project”, the Bureau of Street Lighting will be administering an ongoing LED testing and evaluation program. Periodically, new LED streetlights will be brought into our testing lab for mechanical and electrical evaluation. Some of those fixtures will be moved to a public street for lighting evaluation and will be monitored over a period of at least 12 weeks. Due to the large number of fixtures being submitted for evaluation, we have developed a minimum set of requirements for all new LED streetlights. These requirements must be met before we can accept the equipment into our program. If your LED streetlight meets the following requirements, enter your contact information and a brief description of your product in the electronic form provided on this webpage. Energy Savings The fixture must use approximately 45% less energy compared to its commercially available High Pressure Sodium counterpart. (See Chart below for actual wattage targets). Scotopic light contribution can not be considered at this time as the Bureau is using recommended lighting levels and uniformity ratios set forth in IESNA-RP-8-2000.
Charles Reasoner May 26, 2012 at 05:08 AM
"LED street lighting installations with light emitting diodes ...can now be seen all over the world – from the United States to Johannesburg to Singapore. LEDs are the ideal solution for street lighting due to their long life, directional light, uniform brightness and illumination. Plus LEDs are environmentally friendly as they contain no mercury or lead which means no hazardous materials in local landfills. LEDs in a properly designed luminaire are also dark sky friendly, eliminating stray light and reducing overall light pollution." http://ledlight.osram-os.com/applications/street-led-lighting/?gclid=CKby-ryVnbACFYcBQAodvUS8ZA There are issues with LED lights like temperature and surge protection, but the technology is robust enough at this point to justify making the switch. I support Tuminello on this one. Just do the homework to select the right products an do the best deal for NL.

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