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LED Street and Area Lighting

Field Test of Exterior LED Down Lights

Outdoor lighting fixtures installed in the early 1980's (after the energy crisis of the late 1970's) are nearing the end of their service lifetime. Many electric utilities and governmental organizations are considering a switch from existing high-pressure sodium street lights to LEDs, induction, or plasma sources in residential neighborhoods and on arterial streets. Among the advantages cited in these efforts are energy savings, decreased maintenance issues and costs. BPA and its partners sought to test these claims and understand whether these broader-spectrum light sources perform better than, equal to, or poorer than yellowish high-pressure sodium (HPS) light sources in the varied rain, fog, snow, and dry conditions of the Pacific Northwest. The Outdoor Lighting Center was created on the campus of South Seattle Community College. This facility provides a place where utilities, local governments, commercial building developers, outdoor lighting designers and other stakeholders can evaluate test lighting fixtures.

The tested batch of LED product used approximately 50 percent as much electricity of the tested American Electric 100 watt HPS street light fixture, the standard fixture used by Seattle City Light. Assuming a decrease in input power requirements of 70 watts per fixture, electricity cost of $0.05 kWh, and 12 hours per day of operation, LED street lights are expected to save more than $15 per year - more than $170 over the LED's expected life. Reduced maintenance costs relative to HPS luminaires, or a longer-life LED product, would decrease payback time.

Project Team
BPA: Jack Callahan
WSU Energy Program
Lighting Design Lab: Michael Lane
Seattle Central Community College
Seattle City Light: Robert Sawyer
Tacoma Power: Roger Peery
Snohomish County PUD: Rick Allen
City of Ashland: Larry Giardina
McMinnville Power and Light: Wes Thomas

2010 - 2011 (in progress)


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