April 6, 2016
The Department of Public Works is beginning to install Light Emitting Diode (LED) street light technology in areas of the City as part of their efforts in reducing energy consumption throughout City facilities. Currently, three streetlights at City Hall’s upper parking lot have been upgraded with LED bulbs and controls as part of a testing pilot program to explore the efficiencies and benefits.
The LED bulbs and accompanying smart controls are a new technology not yet widely deployed in any New Hampshire cities or towns. The City is using the test lights at City Hall to ensure the new technology produces light that is bright enough and aesthetically acceptable. Originally, these three lights consumed 6,000 kWh of electricity annually, equal to approximately 7,400 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. They have been replaced with 150 watt LED lights, only consuming 2,000 kWh of electricity annually, equal to approximately 2,400 pounds of CO2 emissions per year. By converting just these three streetlights to LED, the City will save 4,000 kWh of annual electricity consumption, $475 in cost and prevent 5,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year.
“The recent emergence of LED lights and wide spread industry adoption presents a realistic opportunity to improve energy efficiency while providing tangible upgrades to the City’s infrastructure,” said Jacob Levenson, Solid Waste and Sustainability Coordinator for the City. “The goal of upgrading our street lights to LED is to reduce energy consumption, cost, light pollution, and improve visibility on roadways.” According to City Manager John Bohenko, these lights provide an opportunity to test the LED technology for issues and receive feedback prior to converting all 1,700 streetlights in Portsmouth. “So far, we are pleased with the results we have seen. I am hopeful that this technology can ultimately be implemented citywide to allow for cost savings and a safer environment for the public.”