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SBU Experiments with LED Streetlights

If youíre driving through Sturgeon Bay at night, you may soon notice something different at a handful of intersections. SBU is experimenting with LED streetlights at the following intersections:

  • Maple St. and Lansing St.
  • Michigan St. and 18th Ave.
  • Neenah Ave. and Oxford Ave.
  • Egg Harbor Rd. and 14th Ave.

LED is an acronym for light emitting diodes, a technology that has been around since the 1960ís. For the first few decades, the low light output of LEDís and narrow range of colors limited their role to specialized applications such as indicator lamps. LED light output levels and color options gradually increased over time. The past few years have seen white LEDís more than triple their light output and enter the arena of viable lighting technology for the next generation.

LEDís are solid-state semi-conductor devices that produce light. Critical to the functionality and life cycle of LED lights is the engineering that allows them to efficiently dissipate the heat that they produce. Well-engineered LED lights are significantly more efficient than high-intensity discharge lights used in most streetlighting applications.

LED lighting systems are environmentally friendly. Their greater efficiency results in energy savings of at least 30% over standard high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights. In addition, LEDís contain no mercury or lead and generally use aluminum parts which lend themselves to recycling.

At this point, LED streetlights cost about six times more than the comparable HPS lights used throughout the City, but their lifespan is up to five times greater. Given this longer life, the resulting lower life-cycle costs, and their green nature, SBU will continue to review their performance as we determine whether LEDís are the light of the future.

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