Mayor Gray Celebrates Completion of Energy-Efficient Alley Lighting Project

Image of a LED street light.
Image of a LED street light.

Mayor Vincent Gray today joined officials from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to celebrate the completion of a project to replace alley lights with new energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly lighting fixtures. In a Mount Pleasant alley, Gray watched as DDOT contractors replaced an inefficient incandescent bulb with a new light-emitting diode (LED) light fixture. The installation was the last of 1,360 alley light replacements in a $1-million project that involved all of the District’s eight wards.

“Already, results show these new light fixtures are saving energy – 57 to 60 percent – compared to the old incandescent, mercury vapor, and high-pressure sodium lights,” said Gray, who has spearheaded the Sustainable DC effort to make the District the most sustainable city in the United States. “Imagine how much energy we could save if we expand this program to all 70,000 street and alley lights across the District. That would be a great down payment on a truly Sustainable DC.”

The LED lights have a longer life expectancy than the District’s existing lights and will reduce maintenance and energy costs as well as greenhouse-gas emissions. For example, a 189-watt incandescent bulb has a lamp life of 6-12 months; by comparison, a 54-watt LED light has a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

They also use the least amount of energy compared to other fixtures while offering less glare and better illumination, uniformity, safety, color and aesthetics.

“This is just one example of how we are reducing our footprint at DDOT through the use of green construction techniques, technology and infrastructure,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “We’re also fostering environmentally friendly forms of transportation and expanding our tree canopy. The Mayor’s vision for a Sustainable DC is achievable with this type of investment, and with our partners at DDOE and other agencies, we will continue to do our part.”

The District Department of Energy (DDOE) is supporting and funding the LED lighting project, under the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficient and Conservation Block Grant program.

“An initiative like this that saves the city money, improves residents’ safety, and reduces our energy appetite is certainly worthy of our investment,” says Christophe A.G. Tulou, director of DDOE. “This is a great example of how involvement of many departments across the city will make Sustainable DC a reality.”

It’s estimated that the 1,360 new LED alley lights will save the District approximately 591,000 KWH in electricity annually, and as a result will cut CO2 emissions by 719 tons.

Before the start of this project, in conjunction with the Howard University Transportation Research Center, DDOT conducted a study and analysis of light-emitting diode (LED) lighting products from a variety of vendors and manufacturers. The study involved the evaluation and analysis of photometric readings, fixture life, efficacy, aesthetics, color temperature, dimmability and compatibility with remote monitoring and control systems. At the conclusion of the study, DDOT selected Lighting Science Group’s (LSG) LSR-2 LED fixture as the preferred choice to replace the District’s existing alley lights.

“When it comes to city planning, smart infrastructure save lives and dollars,” said Jim Haworth, chairman and chief executive officer of Lighting Science Group of Lighting Science Group. “The Mayor, DDOT and DDOE are clearly united in their commitment to promoting both the safety and financial interests of District residents with their vision for a Sustainable DC, and Lighting Science Group is proud to do its part to bring that vision to life. Our roadway solutions offer notably longer-life expectancies than the District’s existing lights and real reductions in maintenance and energy costs, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. With less glare and better illumination, uniformity, and color, the new LED street lights signal a true improvement for the nation’s capital.”

In 2005, the District became the largest city in the United States to convert all of its traffic signals to LED fixtures.

DDOT plans to install energy-efficient light fixtures throughout the city – including all District alleys, streets, bridges, tunnels and underpasses, pedestrian walkways, and bike and running trails by the end of 2015. DDOT is also exploring the use of solar and wind power as alternative power sources to reduce its dependency on the electrical grid.

For more information about Mayor Gray’s Sustainable DC vision, visit the Sustainable DC website. More details about DDOT’s Energy Saving Initiatives are also posted online at ddot.dc.gov.

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Tue, 23 Sep 2014 18:23:16 -0400

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