Raleigh gets energy-saving street lights

Posted October 28, 2008
Updated October 29, 2008

— When does it take a mayor and a CEO to change a light bulb? When the change is an energy-efficient first for Raleigh.

Mayor Charles Meeker and Progress Energy Carolinas CEO Lloyd Yates helped install one of nine LED street lights Tuesday in front of Progress Energy’s corporate headquarters on Davie Street in downtown Raleigh.

The lights form a test case for Progress Energy, the city of Raleigh and industry partners to see how LED street lights work in typical outdoor conditions.

“These new street lights will help to make our future a little brighter,” said Yates. “LED streetlights are an example of the kind of innovation that will be needed to help us achieve greater energy efficiency for our Carolinas customers now and in the years ahead.”

LED lights are expected to burn out less and use less energy use compared with traditional bulbs.


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  • Slip Kid Nov 3, 2008

    Does this mean they'll turn them off?!?! That's what's needed.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Nov 3, 2008

    bozoclown3118, I'll answer what little I can. The small flourescent bulbs, you buy for your home, use about 1/4 the amount of energy. For instance, the 60-Watt flourescent bulb equivalent uses about 14-Watts. The LED Lights are just as energy saving, if not more. The lights on the streets have to be at least 150-Watts, if not closer to 300-Watts. So to replace most all street lights would be a huge savings in labor and operational costs longterm. The goal is not to reduce the number of street lights. There will be many, many more added in time with growth. The goal is to reduce the energy load they require. A side bonus is they last a lot longer than regular bulbs.

  • Frank Downtown Oct 31, 2008

    Now if we could just keep everyone from throwing their grabage in the streets.........

  • Blueboxinggloves Oct 30, 2008

    Okay, now that they are saving energy with these new street lights, how about MORE of them so we can actually see dark areas at night? And hey, while they're at it, how about putting reflectors in the road so we can actually see the lines when it's pitch dark and raining?

  • whatelseisnew Oct 29, 2008

    Ah they could save even more money by just not ever replacing the bulbs. What could be greener than that?

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Oct 29, 2008

    I keep hearing "what's in it for me?". Well, it may be of some benefit for you, but also for your children and grandchildren.

    LEDs last a "lifetime", so consider how the Lineman does NOT have to drive his fossil fuel truck, stop it in traffic, put out the cones to divert traffic (you love that, right?), strap his safety harness on ('cuz it's dangerous), ride his cherry picker up, spend time replacing the bulb, and complete the process by throwing the old bulb in the landfill. How much does all that save?

    So, the benefit is not just to your wallet. And the more people use this new technology and governments embrace their use, the cheaper and more widespread it will become.

    So, buy green products (as much as you are able) and watch the prices fall and future generations reap the benefits of a safer, healthier world.

  • danband Oct 28, 2008

    Mo, is right, upfront costs are greater, but the taxpayers will save money in the long run b/c of energy saved. LED lights are far and away the most long-lasting. Once you put them in, they're there for a very, very long time. In terms of savings, Ann Arbor in Michigan replaced all their lights with LEDs and they projected they would cut their $1.5 million electricity bill in half.

  • Mo Oct 28, 2008

    Green typically requires more up front investment for long-term saving in energy cost. Such is the case with LED Traffic Lights, which have been shown to save long-term energy and maintenance manhour cost. Obviously, this study it to determine if a similar savings can be achieved with streetlighting, which is more challenging since LED light is more focused in one direction and not as easily distributed.

  • bozoclown3118 Oct 28, 2008

    I have a couple of questions. How much energy does it save versus the other lights, and how many street lights does Raleigh have? Also if these lights are brighter are they going to reduce the number of street lights to save even more energy?

  • hi_i_am_wade Oct 28, 2008

    A question that quite often goes missing when discussing "green" issues is how soon until you get your return on investment? If it will take longer to break even than a product will last, you are not benefiting your wallet at all. Hybrid car owners, for instance, do not see a ROI for 6 years or longer. We have to become more efficient somehow. But taxpayers should not paying extra just to be green. Let private businesses begin mass adoption, then when the price is down because something isn't new, do something green on taxpayers dollar.