Calgary's switch to energy-efficient street lights complete by 2018

The City of Calgary will soon launch phase two of the project to switch street lights to more energy-efficient LED fixtures.

LED fixtures reduce energy costs, light pollution and illuminate better

A street in Oakland, Calif., after (left) and before the city installed new GE Lighting LED lights. (GE Lighting)

The City of Calgary will soon launch phase two of the project to switch street lights to more energy efficient LED fixtures.

Five communities have already made the switch from the high pressure sodium bulbs: Altadore, Douglasdale, Brentwood, Marlborough and Tuxedo Park.

"It's a bit of a whiter light as opposed to the orange light that we see with the high pressure sodium fixtures," said Julie Yepishina-Geller, who is with the City of Calgary.

"The nice thing about the LED lights is that they really direct the light downwards, on to the road and the sidewalk where we really want it to be lighting as opposed to up into the air."

The city began replacing the fixtures this summer, so far 2,500 have been installed — leaving 77,500 more to go.

"We tried to get a really good sampling of old and new communities to see how the lights worked in each location and to be able to figure out how to tweak the lights so that they work in all the different types of communities we have in Calgary," said Yepishina-Geller.

Starting in the new year, the city will focus on retrofitting fixtures in the older neighbourhoods, which are more likely to have technical issues than new communities, before moving on to newer areas.

The city estimates LED fixtures will reduce electricity consumption for street lights by up to 55 per cent. They will also reduce maintenance costs for the city and provide better quality lighting for communities and roadways while reducing light pollution.

The city is expected have all installations complete by 2018.


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