Welland is Well Lit with LED street lighting

Aug. 21, 2007
The City of Welland, Ontario is undertaking a pilot program to evaluate LED street lighting, which could possibly lead to the installation of more than 6500 luminaires in future, writes Brian Owen.
In April this year, the Canadian city of Welland, Ontario, made a decision to install LED street lighting, initially as a pilot project on Fitch Street and quite possibly as a long-term complete replacement. Many municipalities have already taken a similar approach with LED traffic signals.
Relume luminaire After due consideration and evaluation of the responses to what was the first Canadian municipal Request for Quotation (RFQ) specifically for LED street lighting, the Relume LED luminaire from Lumecon was accepted for the initial installation.

This will be the first formal installation of LED street lighting by a municipality in Canada, following a similar commitment by Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States.

“This LED pilot project is in keeping with the City of Welland’s commitment to protect and enhance the environment, and to ensure that all plans and policies utilize taxpayers’ dollars efficiently to foster a climate for economic prosperity,” states Welland Mayor, Damian Goulbourne.

Welland is a community within the Niagara Region of Ontario with a population of around 50,000. The current project calls for the installation of 50 Relume luminaries, which contain Cree LEDs. Further luminaire development will be undertaken by CRS (see below), with a potential of 6,573 streetlights to be replaced in the future.

Relume luminaire Currently, the City incurs $372,000 in annual electricity costs for street lighting, and this could be reduced by 47% if all the fixtures are replaced with LEDs. Along with a further projected 75% reduction in $179,000 of annual capital and maintenance costs, the City could realize $309,090 in annual savings.

"Congratulations to Welland for leading the way with its pilot project to install LED street lighting," says Peter Love, Chief Energy Conservation Officer for Ontario. "Innovative projects like this one benefit the community, the province’s electricity system and the environment. We look forward to seeing and celebrating the results."

In July 2007, the City of Toronto became the first Canadian city to be designated as an “LED City” (see Toronto becomes second LED City) and has also undertaken an installation of LED street lighting in Exhibition Place (LED streetlights help Toronto become brighter and greener.

Welland’s Transportation and Parking Operations manager David Ferguson, who is eager to move forward with the project, says “The proposed Fitch Street lighting project has raised a considerable amount of interest and we have fielded calls from various organizations throughout North America enquiring about the proposed project.”

LED fluorescent tube replacement The first bank of Relume luminaries provided by Lumecon utilize 90 watts of power compared to the 175 watts used by high-pressure sodium lamps. It is expected that the LED luminaires for the pilot project will be installed for a period of one year to allow staff to conduct observations, get public input, and for Welland Hydro to undertake power consumption testing. If the Fitch Street pilot project is successful then streetlights may be converted to LED technology citywide over a 3- to 5-year period.

“Welland Hydro is pleased to assist the City of Welland with this project,” said Ross Peever, president and CEO of Welland Hydro-Electric System. “Without the 'can do' attitude of council and municipal staff, this project may not have seen the light of day. LED lighting is unique to street lighting and this project may be the catalyst to revolutionize how road authorities provide street lighting.”

Peter Hochstein, chairman, founder and CTO of Relume, commented, “We are pleased to have been chosen [by Welland] and to be at the beginning of a massive replacement of infrastructure. Relume has begun to transform Ann Arbor, Michigan and both municipalities have demonstrated an intention to change their entire City.”

Relume is currently working with a third party (ESCO) to allow municipalities to lease the assets and realize the savings from the energy cost reduction, which would inevitably pay for the lighting from an operational perspective. “It has be an educational process regarding Life Cycle Costing," said Hochstein. “Ann Arbor has already validated the savings.”

CRS Electronics

In addition, CRS Electronics, a local Welland company, has been commissioned to develop and install a second battery of luminaries, with the intent of providing a performance comparison of the two products. For a number of years, CRS has been manufacturing LED light engines for the transportation industry, and has now entered the general illumination market.

MR16 LED replacement "We are excited to have the opportunity to work with our home City of Welland," said Scott Riesebosch, president of CRS Electronics. "We understand that energy conservation is the driving factor behind the decision to move forward with LED technology and it is with this in mind that CRS will present a luminaire that is the most efficient to date at the most reasonable cost."

Riesebosch says that company feels its years of experience in the manufacturing of LED light engines for various industries will provide far more knowledge about the intricacies of a luminaire and a distinct advantage over the competition.

Riesebosch adds that CRS is also scheduled to release an LED MR16 and an LED linear fluorescent tube replacement this fall (see images).