Outdoor Lighting: Las Vegas makes major SSL push; Washington, DC starts small with LEDs

May 24, 2012
GE Lighting used Las Vegas, NV and Superior, NE as examples of how LED lighting works outdoors for large and small communities, while Washington, DC begins installing SSL, and Nova Scotia mandates a transition.

Las Vegas has completed the first phase of a major LED project and hopes to have 41,000 lights retrofitted by next year using GE Lighting Evolve luminaires. Lighting Science Group has supplied solid-state lighting (SSL) fixtures to Washington, DC for a first LED project. The Nova Scotia energy department, meanwhile, plans to mandate a conversion to LEDs.

GE Lighting and Las Vegas

Superior, NE installed 600 LED lights

GE Lighting used the coincidence of the Las Vegas, NV-based Lightfair International conference to provide an update on the ongoing LED street-light project in Las Vegas, announced last August. Las Vegas has already installed 6600 GE Evolve LED street lights and is beginning a second phase of the project to retrofit 35,000 additional lights.

According to the smartmeters.com website, the initial phase of the project has slashed energy usage by 2.2 million kWh and generated $175,000 in maintenance and energy savings annually.

Long term, the savings in Las Vegas will grow dramatically. The city projects that when the second phase of the project is complete, the city will cut energy usage by 20 million kWh and reduce energy and maintenance costs by $2.7 million annually. The project is due for completion in 2013 and will include more than 80% of the city's 50,000 street-light inventory.

LEDs in small towns

GE Lighting's recent announcement, however, stressed that SSL outdoor lighting is equally as important and applicable to small towns around the globe. GE highlighted a recent project in the town of Superior, NE as an example. The town replaced 600 legacy lights with GE Evolve LED luminaires after side-by-side testing of products from multiple vendors.

LED street lights in Las Vegas, NV

Superior's population numbers only 2000, but the town was spending $30,260 annually on electricity for street lights. That figure has now been cut down to $9300 thanks to LEDs. Moreover, the project has eliminated 156 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

Washington, DC street lights

Back to a larger city, Washington, DC has completed the first phase of an LED street-light project that will eliminate 719 tons of emissions. Lighting Science Group supplied the luminaires and the city has retrofitted 1360 lights.

"Already results show these new light fixtures are saving energy energy – 57-60 % – compared to the old mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium lights," said Washington Mayor Vincent Gray. "Imagine how much energy we could save if we expand this program to all 70,000 street and alley lights across the District. That would be a great down payment on a truly Sustainable DC."

Mandating roadway SSL

While most municipalities are moving to SSL street lights as they find the budget to fund projects, the province of Nova Scotia in Canada is apparently going to mandate LED retrofits. According to the Daily Commercial News, the Nova Scotia energy department will require all utilities and municipalities to convert street lights to LEDs by 2019.

The impacted parties will have one year to present a plan on updating lights to LED sources. The energy department believes that a conversion across the province can save $18 million annually in energy and maintenance costs.

Outdoor project updates

In other outdoor SSL, news, the town of Jackson, NJ has finally moved forward on a previously-funded LED street-light projects. As we reported back in 2010, the local utility was blocking the SSL installation. According to the Asbury Park Press, the town and utility finally reached an agreement with Jersey Central Power & Light, lowering their cost estimate of the installation process. The utility has installed 100 lights and the town hopes to ultimately halve its electrical bill.

We've also covered the Welland, Ontario LED street-light project previously. The Welland Tribune recently reported on the installation and a tour by officials from nearby communities. Evidently, the installed 30W lights are performing very well in place of 70W and 100W legacy lights.