Honolulu LED street light conversion to drastically reduce energy usage while brightening neighborhoods

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A city of Honolulu program that has converted approximately 53,000 street lights to LED lamps is almost complete according to city officials.

The public-private project teamed with Johnson Controls at the cost of $46.6 million including construction, financing warranty, and networking over 10 years.

The city says that the savings energetically and economically will be dramatic.

It’s a 60% energy savings from these. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said.

“We thought it would be about 40%, but we found out it’s a 60% energy savings which means it’s nearly 17 million kilowatt-hours of electricity that’s being saved every year and that’s the equivalent of electric consumption of 2,800 homes on Oahu.”

Estimates have the savings from the decreased electric use at $5 million per year. LED bulbs also have a life span of an estimated 20-30 years. The former street light bulbs only lasted 2-3 years. The City says that taxpayer money will be also be saved from maintenance.

“LED lighting is more energy-efficient, makes our streets safer, and this new infrastructure allows us to better direct light so we are not disturbing wildlife like shearwaters. This is an example of a public-private partnership that really works.” Mayor Caldwell added.

Caldwell was presented a check today at a press conference from Hawaii Energy with a rebate of $1,922,002.

The temperature of the lights is set to 3000K in residential areas and a brighter 4000K on major roadways and some mixed commercial districts.

Lights are also designed to be more focused on roadways through a flat glass lens and an internal reflector system. The city can remotely manage the lights on a group or individual basis.

The energy efficiency is also designed to help fight the city’s carbon emissions.

“Most people don’t realize that energy efficiency can get us half-way to the CO2 reductions that we need to achieve to reach our climate goals, and this project will reduce 300,000 tons of CO2 over the life of the streetlights.”   said Hawai‘i Energy Executive Director Brian Kealoha.

The project began construction in late November of 2017. The city still has approximately 70 bulbs to convert.

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