Chapel Hill tests LED street lights

Posted March 25, 2009 3:15 p.m. EDT

— Chapel Hill and Duke Energy have started a 12-month test to evaluate the use of LED lights for street lighting.

Duke Energy will replace 10 street lights on Franklin Street, between Columbia and Henderson streets, with light-emitting diode lamps.

LEDs produce a white light that enhances the color spectrum. It has been used in traffic signals, accent lighting and outdoor signs, and officials said the technology has the potential to be an energy-efficient option for street lighting.

"Through this 12-month pilot, we expect to develop data on operating cost, light-level readings, energy consumption and other related information," Joni Davis, vice president of local government and community relations of Duke Energy Carolinas, said in a statement. "Duke Energy Carolinas does not currently offer LED lighting, but this pilot will go a long way in helping us determine the feasibility of providing this option to our customers."

Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy said the program fits with the town's goal to cut carbon emissions by 60 percent in the next 40 years.