City installing energy efficient LED street lights

Guelph, Ont., July 25, 2017– City Council approved switching Guelph’s 13,119 street lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs and upgrading to adaptive controls to use less electricity, save money, reduce maintenance, and provide better lighting.

“The City will save an estimated $14.2 million over a 15-year period and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 464 tonnes per year—equivalent to taking 98 cars off the road—by switching out Guelph’s high pressure sodium street lights with LEDs,” says Alex Chapman, manager of the Climate Change Office.

The $8 million city-wide transition to LED street lights could start as early as this fall/winter, and will take approximately 7–12 months to complete.

“Street lighting costs are significant and rising. By switching to LED lights, Guelph will see major savings, and by adding adaptive controls, giving us the ability to dim and turn off lights when they are not needed, we can save even more,” added Chapman.

On average, conversion to LED lighting can achieve energy cost savings ranging from 40-80 per cent and maintenance savings of 50-80 per cent. The City of Guelph can expect estimated annual operating budget savings of between $0.8 million and $1.6 million, and the project will pay for itself within six years. Staff will report back to Council with exact project savings once installation is complete.

The new LED adaptive control technology gives staff centralized control of street lighting, allows staff to identify burned out lamps and lights that remain on in the daytime. Adaptive controls also offer additional smart city opportunities, should Council decide to invest in them in the future, including smart parking, transit and emergency vehicle intersection priority, remote water meter reading and environmental sensors for indicators such as air pollutants.

“We heard from community members that they are concerned about light pollution and intrusion,” adds Chapman. “We will use the International Dark‐Sky Association seal of approval to ensure the new LED lights create warm colour and comfortable brightness, and reduce light pollution.”

Municipalities including Mississauga, Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Barrie, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Richmond Hill already implemented, or are in the process of implementing, LED conversion.

Guelph’s LED streetlight project supports the City’s Corporate Energy Strategic Business Plan, which aims to reduce the City’s energy costs by increasing energy productivity, improving the management of energy commodities, and generating on-site renewable energy at City facilities.

Media contact

Alex Chapman, Manager, Climate Change Office
Facilities Management
519-822-1260 extension 3324