Seattle City Light has completed installation of LED streetlights in the residential areas planned for 2012 and will get a head start on its 2013 work.
City Light’s contractor, Potelco, has installed about 10,000 LED streetlights this year in residential neighborhoods of Burien, Tukwila, SeaTac, Renton, Normandy Park and unincorporated King County and as far north in Seattle as Brandon Street.
Planners expected that work would require about 12,000 lights, but Potelco discovered that City Light crews had already replaced about 2,000 streetlights that had burned out with new LEDs. With about 2,000 LEDs still in stock, the contract crews will start moving north by the end of the week and could get as far as Andover Street before ending work for the year.
“Response to the new lights from residents has been overwhelmingly positive,” Streetlight Engineering Manager Steve Crume said. “With the good work that crews from City Light and Potelco are doing, we’re happy to have an opportunity to get some of these energy efficient streetlights into other neighborhoods faster.”
City Light is committed to converting all 41,000 residential streetlights in its service territory by the end of 2014. Crews have already installed the new lights from the Ship Canal to the north end of City Light’s service territory in Shoreline and Lake Forest Park as well as the south end. About 16,000 remain to be installed in Seattle from Brandon Street north to the Ship Canal.
LED streetlights use up to 60 percent less energy than the high-pressure sodium lights they are replacing and they last at least three times longer. That means greater reliability of service and significantly lower operations and maintenance costs.
The City of Seattle is already saving $1.2 million annually by using LEDs on some residential streets. Once all residential streetlights have been converted, Seattle and the other municipalities in City Light’s service territory expect a combined savings of more than $2.4 million a year.
LED streetlights also provide better visibility for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists. City Light is installing lights that are similar in color to moonlight, which provides truer color representation, greater depth of field and enhanced peripheral vision compared to the old lights.