LED street light conversion

The City of Kelowna is working to build vibrant urban centers and make improvements to City infrastructure. Street lighting is an important community service, but has historically consumed as much as 25 percent of a city’s energy budget.

The use of light-emitting diodes (LED’s) in roadway lighting fixtures is becoming more prevalent as advancements in LED technology continues. In 2016, following an LED street light pilot project, City Council endorsed the decision to convert approximately 10,000 street lights to LED’s.

LED Light Conversion

Replacement of about 10,000 existing high pressure sodium street lights with LED street lights will take approximately four to six months and began in early March 2018. Each replacement will take approximately 10-20 minutes.

Installation crews are taking measures to minimize impact to residents:

  • Where possible, equipment will use parking lanes rather than blocking roadways.
  • For replacements along major arterials, work will avoid peak commuter hours and major route installs will be limited to 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Replacements in school zones will not take place from 8 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
  • When necessary, one lane of traffic may need to be blocked off, but no full road closures are anticipated.

Over the next 15 years, approximately $13 million dollars will be saved by converting approximately 10,000 existing lights to LED. Current high-pressure sodium lamps (HPS) have a short life span of only about five years, compared to LED lighting which typically lasts 3-4 times longer. The total cost to replace the lighting is 4 million and that cost will be recouped within the next three and a half to four years due to energy savings and avoiding the need to replace bulbs.

  • Annual maintenance costs are expected to reduce by approx. $189,750
  • Annual electricity costs are expected to reduce by about $839,630

What are LED’s?

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) emit light when an electric current passes through them. They differ from high-pressure sodium lights as they don't have a filament that will eventually burn out. LED’s have several advantages including a longer lifespan, needing less maintenance. LED street lights are expected to save up to 62% in energy consumption over existing high-pressure sodium lighting.

LED Street Lighting Pilot Project

In 2016, a pilot project was conducted to evaluate different styles and brands of energy efficient LED fixtures.

Results of the pilot project showed that energy savings were significant and have the potential to cut energy consumption by more than 50%. While also ensuring appropriate light levels and illumination for optimal roadway lighting.