LED street light upgrade

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Guelph owns nearly 13,000 non-decorative street lights. In an effort to use less electricity, save money, reduce maintenance and provide better lighting, we will replace the City’s street lights with Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology and adaptive controls.

Why LEDs?

LED luminaires require much less energy and maintenance than Guelph’s traditional high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures. This is one way the City can save big on costs.

Did you know…

  • Electricity for Guelph’s street lights costs about $1.74 million each year
  • Guelph’s existing streetlights are replaced every five years, which is costly and creates an unnecessary environmental burden
  • LED street lights last three to five times longer and use roughly half of the 10 million kilowatt hours of electricity used each year by the City’s HPS lights
  • Many other municipalities are using LED street lights, including Mississauga, Hamilton, London, Barrie, and Guelph-Eramosa Township

On top of cost savings, LED street lights offer:

  • better visibility
  • reduced light pollution
  • reduce carbon dioxide emissions
  • less maintenance

Brightness and colour temperature

The technology that will be used in Guelph is not the bright and harsh lighting you may have seen in other municipalities. Following consultation with the City’s Environmental Advisory Committee, we chose a Correlated Colour Temperature (CCT) of no more than 3000 Kelvin (K) which bears the Fixture Seal of Approval of the International Dark-Sky Association. Guelph’s LED lights will be adjusted to be Dark Sky compliant, therefore reducing light pollution and intrusion.

Adaptive controls

Adaptive control (AC) technology allows centralized control of the street lighting, compared to the current situation in which each street light is independently controlled by a dedicated, onboard photocell. AC offers maintenance savings by identifying malfunctions, burnouts and day-burners immediately (or even before they happen).

2016 street light trial

City and Guelph Hydro staff performed a field trial of five different types of LED lights. Residents had an opportunity to see the different lights and provide feedback. Feedback from the trial was mostly positive.

The test period ran from December 2015 to March 2016 on the following streets:

  • Edinburgh Road between Water and Bellevue streets
  • Echo Drive
  • Elson Drive at Celia Crescent
  • Forest Street west of Maple Street
  • High Park Drive at Bellevue Street

An important lesson learned from the trial is that 5000 Kilowatt (kW)  is too bright and harsh for street lighting. As a result, any future lighting implemented in Guelph will be 3000 kW or less.

Long-term considerations

This project supports the City’s 100% Renewable Energy Target through energy conservation at City facilities.

For more information

Bryan Ho-Yan, Program Manager, Corporate Energy
Facilities Management
519-822-1260 extension 2672
bryan.ho-yan@guelph.ca