Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ontario mayors visit Falls to gauge LED streetlight technology

It’s in order to have a look first and keep some advice about green and economic-friendly alternative to lighting its streets that about 100 Ontario mayors will gather in Niagara Falls next month. The mayors will be led on bus tours of each of the 17 sites in the city where work crews replaced traditional streetlights with up to $250,000 worth of LED streetlights.

It’s on September the 9th that mayors are scheduled to be in Falls. They will get to see what LED technology looks like, how the different manufacturers are faring against one other, of course they will analyzed the results.

The first phase of the project to gauge whether LED technology should be used to replace the city's entire system of aging streetlights was that in May, work crews monitored 17 sites in Niagara Falls to measure the light output from, and the energy consumption of, 157 of the city's 10,000 traditional streetlights. Near the end of June, they replaced those fixtures with LED streetlights from more than 15 lighting manufacturers. Testing has been repeated to determine the effectiveness of the new technology.

City council approved $40,000 to help cover the cost of the pilot project. The experiment is led by Larry Vaughan, vice-president of Ground Aerial Maintenance Services, with the assistance of Megannety, a Niagara Falls consultant.

About the results, they have been quite amazing so far, noting that the data of energy consumption is being measured two or three times a week. The energy consumption is lower than what they had anticipated. In some areas, they are noticing over 60% energy savings.

Moreover, along with illumination measurements at the 17 sites, the project team and the city is inviting the public to tell them if they think the new LED technology is better than the old streetlights. Residents in the study areas have received a survey asking questions, such as whether they feel the white lights create a better atmosphere and better visibility than the orange lights?

Currently, streetlights cost the city about $1 million a year to operate. But project supporters say if fully implemented across the city, with a proper control and monitoring system in place, LED streetlights could save about $700,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs.

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