Tag Archives: municipalities

Brighter Cities One Bulb at a Time


If you study the energy industry, you’d find that we are in the middle of a revolution right now. Everyone from manufacturers improving appliances to consumers renovating their homes, energy efficiency is taking the country by storm.


In a recent article in Energy Manager Today, Danielle Stewart examines how America is making brighter, more efficient cities slowly, but surely. Take for instance how twenty years ago, “every building in America was lit up with inefficient light fixtures. Now, consumers and cities can choose from a wide selection of compact & linear fluorescent and LED bulbs that slash energy consumption without sacrificing light quality or brightness.”


The author goes on to discuss how cities are increasing their efficiency projects and buildings. “Consumers, municipalities, and corporations alike are realizing that energy efficient upgrades can protect the environment while actually saving money.”


Read specific examples at Energy Manager Today.

4 LED Traffic Light Benefits


Everywhere you turn, more and more businesses are switching to LED lighting. But what are the benefits for municipalities?


LED street lighting is actually very common, with many cities making the big change recently.


Switching from traditional halogen bulbs to LED traffic lights can offer many benefits. Here’s a list from Living Green Magazine:


  • LED units, although more costly than traditional lighting, are ultimately less expensive over the long-term. LED lights last significantly longer than old-fashioned bulbs, and require less maintenance. That’s estimated to save cities up to $600 at a single intersection every year.
  • Commuters are saved the inconvenience of increased traffic while bulbs are replaced. New LEDs can last for six or seven years, which mean there is less of a need to replace bulbs in intersections.
  • LED lights are more energy-efficient than the old-fashioned incandescent lights. Because LEDs consist of small electronic lights, they provide better lighting with less wattage. Typically a 25-watt LED bulb can compare to a 150-watt incandescent.
  • The brightness of LEDs makes them easier for drivers to see, enhancing overall safety, especially in challenging conditions. Compared to halogen lights, LED stand out better against the sun, which allows drivers to view the traffic lights better, enhancing overall road safety.


Source: Living Green Magazine

Switch to LED Lights Helps Cities Save


Add two more to the list of cities that have switched to LED. Eden Prairie and Brooklyn Park are two communities in Minnesota that are making the switch from traditional streetlights to modern, more efficient LED models.


The street superintendent for Brooklyn Park says that the retrofit of 4,300 lights will save the city about $45,000 a year on it’s utility bill. “We’re saving more than 50 percent of our costs on energy and our maintenance costs are almost nonexistent.”


Eden Prairie is also testing out the brighter LED lights as well, and saving about 60 percent on the city’s utility bill.


Though the upfront costs could deter some cities and businesses, LED lighting will last much longer than traditional lighting, and requires less maintenance. And there’s the added value of utility rebates and tax incentives, which provides financial incentives to those seeking energy efficient upgrades.


Source: KSTP.com

Efficiency Measures Save Seattle $1.25 Million

The City of Seattle has saved $1.25 million since 2008 thanks to energy conservation measures.

According to an official report, energy conservation measures at city facilities have saved the City of Seattle $1.25 million since 2008. The city has a history of monitoring and improving the energy efficiency of its facilities.

The report covers 6.2 million square feet of city-owned and operated building space. It found that city-owned downtown buildings are more energy efficient than the national average. In fact the Seattle Municipal Tower has an EPA Energy Star Score of 93 out of 100, compared to a national average of 50.

“Regularly monitoring and quick action to address in energy use helps the City keep the building performing at the top of its class.” Especially with more than 3,000 occupants who work at the 62-story high rise.

Hoping to maintain the momentum, the City of Seattle is currently developing a comprehensive Resource Conservation Management Plan that will outline strategies to improve the city’s building portfolio by 20 percent by 2020.

Source: Energy Manager Today


By Gaylen Davenport

Changing All the Lights in New York City

Replacing all the streetlights in New York City is no small job. The city, however, was on board with the idea of using LED lights city wide. In 2009, after completing thorough testing, a project to replace all the city’s streetlights began and became a model for other cities to study and follow.

The project is expected to be completed by 2019, and will reduce 35 percent of electricity use in streetlights.

Margaret Newman, chief of staff for the NYC Department of Transportation said that’s about $250,000 per year of utility savings and about 700,00 kilowatts per year in energy savings  – and that’s just for 1,500 fixtures in Central Park.

“What I recommend [for municipalities looking at retrofitting to LED] is to really evaluate your asset,” said Newman. “A lot of cities don’t even know what they have out there.”

To read the complete interview with Newman, visit Greenbiz.com.


By Gaylen Davenport

LED Street Lighting in Buffalo, NY

LED street lighting

The city of Buffalo recently updated their street lighting to LED, increasing security, safety, and savings for the city.

The streets of Buffalo, New York are a little brighter these days. The city recently updated their street lighting to LED, increasing security, safety, and savings for the city.

During 2011, commercial and institutional buildings, and street and highway lighting, consumed “about 275 billion kilowatt hours for lighting or 21 percent of commercial electricity consumed,” according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Cities are finding out quickly that changing out older streetlights for LED lamps can reduce energy use. Compared to high pressure sodium lamps, LEDs use less energy, and also handle outdoor temperature changes and moisture better. Plus they are more attractive for use as outside security lights, and provide better directional lighting.

“LED streetlights can quickly show a return on investment by offsetting the high up-front expense with lower energy costs, longer life, and reduced maintenance.”


By Gaylen Davenport

Philadelphia Leading Energy Innovation

Philadelphia is sure to become one of the nation’s leaders in fostering a more energy efficient building stock. The city has joined together to contribute scalable solutions and provide leadership to mitigate climate change.

The city’s first Office of Sustainability was created in 2008 in an effort to make Philadelphia the “Greenest City in America.” The office developed a sustainability plan called Greenworks Philadelphia that laid out plans to “reduce the city’s energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015 and to reduce energy consumption in all buildings within the city by 10 percent by 2015.”

Read more about the history and future of sustainability in Philadelphia.

LED Street Lighting to Surpass $2 Billion by 2020

LED streetlight

The market for LED street lighting is expected to generate more than $2 billion in annual revenue.

Falling costs and improvements in efficiency are driving the increased sales of LED street lighting lamps. According to a new report from Pike Research, “LEDs will become the second-leading type of lamp for streets in terms of sales by 2020.”

The costs of LED street lighting have fallen as much as 50 percent over the past two years, and are expected to continue falling. The market for LED lamps is expected to generate more than $2 billion in annual revenue. The current most popular street lighting is high pressure sodium lamps.

“Smart street lighting systems can provide a backbone for other smart city applications, and conversely, a city investing in networking capabilities for smart city applications should also be looking to include better management of street lighting,” says research analyst Jesse Foote.

The Smart Street Lighting report also noted how the adoption of LED street lights is seriously hindered by the ownership models and tariff structures in place across the U.S.

“If utility companies own street lighting systems and charge a fixed tariff per light to municipalities, then towns have little financial incentive to pay for upgrading their lights. However, the potential for significant energy savings, reduced emissions and improved quality of service, combined with falling LED prices, means that more and more cities will find this an attractive proposition over time.”

The report analyzed the global market opportunity for lamp upgrades and lighting controls in five public outdoor light categories: highways, roads, parking lots, city parks, and sports stadiums.

Source: Business Wire

Golden Gate Bridge May Get LED Makeover

The famous Golden Gate Bridge may get an LED makeover. As part of its Gateway program, the Department of Energy has evaluated the use of LED retrofit kits to replace the existing lights on the San Francisco landmark.

“The goal of the study was to identify solutions to reduce maintenance and energy use without compromising the quantity or quality of existing illumination.”

Currently, four types of luminaries containing HPS or LPS lamps are currently used. Various replacement options were evaluated, including custom LED retrofit kits, fully-integrated LED or ceramic-metal halides.

Researchers found that commercially-available LED retrofits could not be found that would be suitable for installation within the existing luminaire housings. However, custom LED retrofit kits would help save energy while maintaining light levels.

Read the complete report here.

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