Outdoor Lighting: Acuity in So Cal; Australia, Detroit, Arlington, and Fairhope

July 30, 2013
Acuity has supplied LED streetlights to Chula Vista, CA while Ipswich, Australia retrofits streetlights, and Detroit installs SSL in airport parking garages; but citizens in Arlington, VA and Fairhope, AL aren't fully happy with LED projects.

Chula Vista, CA has completed installation of almost 4,000 Acuity LED streetlights and projects an energy reduction of more than 45%. Ipswich, Australia is installing 2,000 LED luminaires on streets while Detroit Metropolitan Airport is installing solid-state lighting (SSL) in its parking garages. The white light of LEDs, meanwhile, has some citizens upset over LED projects in Arlington, VA and Fairhope, AL.

Chula Vista street lights

The city of Chula Vista, CA located just south of San Diego has installed almost 4,000 American Electric Lighting Autobahn LED Series streetlights. The Acuity Brands products now light the downtown area, major arterial roadways, and feeder roads.

Southern Contracting installed the lighting. "The Autobahn LED luminaires are aesthetically pleasing and they do the job," said Jim Filanc, director of business development for Southern Contracting. "And the quality of the light is apparent."

The project included replacement of 250W high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights with 140W Autobahn ATB2 luminaires, and the replacement of 150W HPS lights with 70W Autobahn ATB0 luminaires. The project will reduce energy consumption by 45%.

For the project to go forward, the city had to seek a product that would meet San Diego's Dark Sky Ordinance. The Autobahn fixtures generate zero uplight, and that feature was in part behind the specification of the products.

Ipswich, Australia

In Ipswich, Australia a trial of more than 2,000 LED streetlights is expected to save the city AUD 200,000 ($184,000) per year, according to TheReporter website. That level of saving will come from a retrofit of only 14% of the city's streetlights.

The city had previously tested 11 LED fixtures on the David Trumpy Bridge. Assuming success for the ongoing phase two trial, the city hopes to replace all of its streetlights with LED-based fixtures. A federal government clean energy grant is funding the current project.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport

According to Airports International magazine, Detroit Metropolitan Airport is planning to replace more than 6,000 metal halide (MH) fixtures in two parking structures with SSL. The retrofit will include 60W LED fixtures replacing 210W fixtures.

The project will also include adaptive controls that can dim the LED lighting based on occupancy and ambient-light sensors. The project will cost $6.2 million but is expected to save the airport $1.2 million annually in energy and maintenance costs. The airport projects an annual energy reduction of more than 7 million kWh.

Arlington, VA complaints

Some citizens in Arlington, VA are not happy with the city's retrofit of some streetlights with LEDs according to ABC7 News. The complaints address both the brightness and color temperature of the retrofitted lighting. The citizens have formed a committee that hopes to convince the city to at least consider a change from 5500K to 3500K lights.

The city, however, said that most initial complaints turn to positive feedback as citizens get used to the new lights. Moreover, the city is installing controls to dim the lights later in the night.

Fairhope, AL pier

The white light of an LED retrofit is also under scrutiny in Fairhope, AL, according to the Alabama Live website. An LED installation on the city's pier has generated a near equal split between citizens that like or don't like the new lighting.

The new luminaires from Howard Lighting Products are certainly reducing light pollution. But despite being dark-sky friendly, some residents don't like the whiter light.