Because of their daylight-like brightness, LED lighting promotes neighborhood safety at night while trimming the energy use and maintenance costs of local governments converting from traditional lighting.
Carpinteria is already benefitting from a recent street lighting upgrade funded by a block grant from federal stimulus funds. The upgrade will enable the Santa Barbara County city to cut costs without shedding essential services.
The project replaced 199 city-owned street lights, those ubiquitous orange high-pressure sodium (HPS) 138-watt variety with brighter 29-watt LED fixtures on several blocks of Linden and Carpinteria Avenues.
Lower wattage from the LED lights will result in immediate savings of 96,000 kWh, or $11,600 in energy bills every year. The city will also reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 33 tons of CO2 annually. The city expects to save on maintenance costs as well because the LED bulbs are expected to be far more reliable than the HPS bulbs they replaced.
Completed in November of last year, the project involved the purchase and installation of LEDs by the city’s maintenance staff. It was funded with a $74,177 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Total project cost was $78,580.04.
Administered by the California Energy Commission, the EECBG program is intended to assist small cities and counties in their energy efficiency efforts.
All street lights in Carpinteria are city-owned. With the upgrade, the city has replaced over 90 percent of the traditional city-owned street lights to LEDs. City officials are targeting to replace the rest as soon as more funds become available.
For more information about ARRA funded programs, click on: www.energy.ca.gov/recovery/.