Outdoor Lighting: Cooper supplies Austin with SSL, Detroit embarks on an LED project

Dec. 6, 2011
Detroit, Michigan has installed 1,077 LED fixtures in its central business district; meanwhile, Austin, Texas will reduce energy in its City Hall parking garage by 74% via a lighting retrofit with Cooper Lighting SSL fixtures.
Austin City Hall garage

Austin Energy has handled the Austin, Texas City Hall project replacing 425 175W metal-halide (MH) fixtures with 53W Cooper Lighting McGraw-Edison Concise LED luminaires. In Detroit, Michigan, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDPP), and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) have collaborated on the transition to solid-state lighting (SSL). An Arizona medical facility installs LEDs in a parking lot, and other cities make SSL news around the globe.

Austin hopes to save $46,000 annually in electrical cost thanks to the LED lights installed in the parking garage. The city projects that it will save 575,462 kWh of electricity per year.

"We are literally saving the amount of electricity equivalent to the power used by 48 average homes in Austin each year," said James Parker, project manager, City of Austin. "This has been one of the most impressive projects I have completed in my career."

Cooper outdoor SSL fixtures

The project was funded by a $7.5 million grant, via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), that Austin Energy received to improve the lighting efficiency in municipal facilities across the city. The utility chose Cooper fixtures after a test installation of products from five manufacturers. The Cooper products were selected based on the low-profile design, energy efficiency, and quality of light.

Parker said, "After measuring fixture performance, calculating project savings and payback and soliciting opinions from facility stakeholders and the general public, the City of Austin determined that the Cooper LED luminaire best met the needs for the City Hall Parking Garage." He also noted that the LED fixtures improved the quality and quantity of light relative to the MH fixtures.

Detroit business district

The 1,077 LED fixtures that are presently being installed in Detroit will cover about half of the city's central business district including the streets near the Comerica Park and Ford Field pro-sports stadiums. Detroit Public Lighting crews are installing 250W luminaires in place of 400W legacy lights. The city projects savings in excess of $57,000 per year.

The partners in the project also note the superiority of the SSL. "Safety and security is one of the DDP's key initiatives," said David Blaszkiewicz, president and CEO of the DDP. "This lighting project not only enhances safety and security for Detroit's residents, employees and visitors, it is also a sound addition to the city economically and environmentally."

"This project has a double benefit," said Mayor Dave Bing. "It creates a more comfortable environment for downtown workers, residents and visitors, and the high-efficiency lamps will immediately start saving money. I look forward to creating more of these opportunities through collaborations in other business districts and neighborhoods."

The Detroit Economic Growth Corp (DEGC) is managing the project on behalf of the partners. A DEGC press release on the SSL installation provides a complete list of the streets involved. Funding totaling $1.3 million came from the DDA, a US Department of Energy (DOE) grant, and BCBSM.

BCBSM is involved because of its major campus in the downtown area. Indeed the installation includes what BCBSM calls the LED-lit BLUPath that links its main campus with new offices in nearby buildings. "Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is delighted to partner with the City of Detroit, DDP and the DEGC in an initiative that makes Detroit a safer and more energy-efficient place to work, live and play," said BCBSM president and CEO Daniel J. Loepp.

LEDtronics supplies Arizona hospital

LEDtronics SSL in Kingman, AZ

The Kingman Regional Medical Center has upgraded 104 high-pressure-sodium (HPS) fixtures around its campus in northern Arizona with LEDtronics SSL fixtures. The 250W HPS lamps were replaced by 88W LED lights.

The hospital security department pressed for the lighting upgrade in part so that security cameras function better. Still the hospital expects to realize $100,000 in energy and maintenance savings over the expected 50,000 hour life of the lights.

Global SSL outdoor news

In other SSL news from around the world, the Dawn.com website reports that Islamabad, Pakistan is installing LED street lights. The Capital Development Authority (CDA) with $780 million in funding from the Asian Development Bank plans to replace 65,000 street lights in three years. The CDA believes that energy savings will cover the loan over the course of five years.

According to the Engineering News web site, Durban, South Africa has installed 149 LED lights around the Durban International Conference Center. The state owned Eskom power utility handled the project using Philips Lighting Iridium2 fixtures.

The activity in SSL isn't limited to large cities. Another Michigan city – Livonia – has received a grant to cover the installation of LED street lights according to the local weekly Observer & Eccentric. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. granted Livonia $82,125. The installation will be focused in the downtown area and complement another recent LED street light installation handled by DTE Energy along a major local roadway.

In Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and nearby Langley, a Korean LED luminaire maker called Yuyang DNU hopes to find new business according to The Korea Herald. The Korean company plans to supply 20 50W and 80W luminaires for free in hopes of winning business in a future large-scale LED project. The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency helped broker the deal.

New Streetlights, meanwhile, reported that Campbell River, British Columbia has issued an RFP for a pilot installation of 93 LED street lights. The project is part of the city's commitment to become carbon neutral in 2012. The city owns a total of 1900 HPS lights and may replace the entire portfolio with LEDs depending on the outcome of the trial.