Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Iowa Town Chooses Philips LEDs for Street Light Makeover

Iowa Town Chooses Philips LEDs for Street Light Makeover

Tonight was my first night back to my writing group since coming back from vacation.  There was the usual “who wants to run the meeting – do you want to run the meeting?”  Then one of the ladies pipes up and says, pointing at me, “why don’t you have her run it?  She hasn’t done it in a while.”  To which I replied “that’s because I haven’t been here!”  But as always, it was a good time and some valuable advice was given out to those who had submissions.  It’s still up for debate which is the most efficient way to do the critique – some of us like paper and pen and other like doing it on-screen with comments and the Track Changes feature of MS Word.  Some people like it one way; some people like it the other.

One company is looking to go energy-efficient by upgrading some of their lighting to LED.  Alliant Energy began to replace the first of about 12,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights in Cedar Rapids (Iowa) and in nearly 60 other communities in the metro area.  The company started a program to replace the lights in groups of 2,000 per year – meaning all of the lights should be replaced in about seven years (efficient?).  The replacements will be made as the existing high-pressure sodium lights burn out or otherwise stop working.

The replacement lights, like all LEDs, will require less maintenance than the high-pressure sodium lights they replace while providing a whiter more uniform dispersion of light and fewer dark spots.  Current maintenance for the high-pressure sodium lights is once every five years (or sooner if they fail), but the LEDs will likely not need servicing for at least 10 and possibly even 20 years.

The utility tested out several LEDs, looking for the right one, and have decided to go with a Philips brand fixture.  Now, we don’t sell street lights here, but we do sell several Philips products.  Philips – to me at least now – is pretty well-known for its extra-energy-efficient LED products.  The 100W replacement product the utility has decided to go with uses about 30 fewer watts of power.  This means once all 12,000 lights are in place, the company will save around 1.4 million kilowatt hours of power every year.  That’s enough to meet the annual electrical needs of 128 average homes.

I can’t wait until a town near me decides to go LED!

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