City testing LED street lights for money, energy savings
SALISBURY — The city of Salisbury Engineering Department has begun a pilot program of converting select street lights from metal-halide lamps to LED, a test that should help save money and be more environmentally friendly, the city said.
The nine lights chosen for this project are in the 200 block of West Liberty and one light on North Church Street. These lights were chosen because they are all on one meter, which allows the Engineering Department to monitor energy usage.
Metal-halide lamps were developed in the 1960s and produce light by an electric arc in a gas-filled tube. LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) consume less energy, have a longer life and smaller size. LEDs are now widely used in aviation, automotive, advertising, general lighting, traffic signals and homes.
The Engineering Department investigated the best way to make the conversion and found retrofitting to be the most cost-effective. The city will leave the current fixtures in place and use an LED driver to allow the fixture to use LED lighting.
In addition to cost savings, the retrofit also will cut down on the time required to make the conversion, said Myra Heard, acting city spokeswoman.
The city’s study determined no difference in the appearance of the LED verses the metal-halide bulb, with both offering white light. Installation of the remaining eight LEDs has been placed in the maintenance staff’s schedule.
If the pilot goes as planned, engineering will submit a proposal to convert more lights to LED in the future for even greater energy savings.
Vickie Eddleman serves as the city of Salisbury engineering technician.