The City is excited to be piloting a Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lighting program, in alignment with best practice in neighbouring municipalities. Currently, the City has approximately 100 light fixtures that have been converted from high-pressure sodium (HPS) luminaires to LED lights in two neighbourhoods; Glenbrooke North / Fraserview and Thompsons Landing in Queensborough.
Benefits of LED Street Lights
The major benefit to LED street lights is that they save money in the long run. Generally speaking, as compared to HPS luminaires, LED lights consume 50% less energy and, at the same time, can last 4 times as long. This translates into significant savings in operating and maintenance costs.
LED street lights produce a ‘white light’ that may appear brighter as compared to their HPS counterparts. However, this is not the case. The LEDs ‘white light’ improves colour rendering which may be perceived as brighter. In other words, LED lights make things appear closer to their natural daytime colours.
Having said that, there are ways LED street lights can be environmentally sensitive. For starters, LED lights offer a high degree of control over the pattern, distribution and evenness of light on the ground. In comparison, HPS lights produce light in all directions which needs to be redirected using lenses and reflectors which, nevertheless, can result in light spilling. This not only wastes energy but also causes light pollution which can impact wildlife. Moreover, LED street lighting can be adjusted / or dimmed to provide only the level of illumination needed at any given time – which is nearly impossible for conventional street lighting products.
Given the pilot nature of this initiative, we will continue to monitor the success of these lights and modify our practices based on field measurements, the latest research and best practices and feedback from the community.