Brighter, Better, More Energy Efficient

By Dave Bertola

The white streetlight at the top is a new LED installed by National Grid and in the Town of Batavia. It is contrasted with the yellow lights down the street, which are located in the City of Batavia.

National Grid’s largest western New York LED streetlight conversion to date was completed in May, when the Town of Batavia, N.Y., converted 72 streetlights from high-pressure sodium lights.

The lights were retrofitted as part of National Grid’s Outdoor Street Lighting Conversion program, which enables communities to switch from high-pressure sodium lights to high-efficiency LED () lighting. The program is open to all of National Grid’s upstate New York municipal and governmental streetlighting customers with roadway-style fixtures, and promotes the adoption of energy-efficient LED technology through the transition of company-owned streetlights.

Batavia should reap the rewards of long-term cost and energy savings. The town’s streetlights were converted at a cost of $9 per month over a 10-year period. An incentive the town received from the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority was built into the street-lighting program that translates to energy savings over time.

“We converted the streetlights for long-term cost savings for our residents, which could total around $2,000 annually,” said Town of Batavia highway superintendent Tom Lichtenthal. “Working with National Grid, there was a little bit of a learning curve in the beginning of this process. But in the end, everything went very smoothly and the installation procedures were completed quickly.”

LEDs have no filament, produce less heat, and should require less maintenance over time. They require no warmup period to reach full brightness and make it easier for motorists and pedestrians to recognize objects.

“Visually, LEDs produce a distinctly whiter, brighter light compared to the yellow hue cast by traditional high-pressure sodium lights,” said National Grid Regional Manager Ken Kujawa. “When working with us, municipalities often consider this difference when specifying which lights to convert, particularly in situations where LED and high-pressure sodium streetlights may be on the same street or in close proximity.”

National Grid encourages customers considering LED streetlight conversion to seek additional information from knowledgeable lighting professionals in order to make fully informed decisions. For LED conversions, NYSERDA offers grant incentives to local governments through its Clean Energy Communities program.

Photo credit: Howard Owens/The Batavian


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