Sunday - May 27, 2018

LED Streetlights Coming to a Street Near You

From the City of Asheville Office of Sustainability:

Beginning Monday, Nov. 12, the city will move into the third and final phase of the streetlight upgrade program in which traditional bulbs will be upgraded to LED fixtures. When complete in June 2013 all roads in city limits except Department of Transportation roads will be upgraded to LED streetlights. Upgrades will take place Monday through Thursday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. with no expectations of traffic disruption. Installations will begin at the base of city limits in south Asheville this fall, moving to east Asheville this winter and concluding in north Asheville next spring.

Over the last two years the City has upgraded 3,400 street lights to the energy efficiency LED technology and will complete the city wide program in June 2013 with a total of 7,400 fixtures. Once completed, all three phases are expected to save $450,000 annually and 1,294 tons of avoided carbon which is equal to the emissions from burning 7 rail cars of coal.

The first and second phases of this program have already resulted in $165,000 of energy savings. When this program began, the municipal budget for streetlights was $1.7M annually. In order to make the investment in LED streetlights the city is keeping this budget flat and using the energy savings to pay for the investment in this technology. The energy savings is so substantial that in addition to all streetlights being upgraded, the majority of the sustainability program activities are being funded through this source.

The City of Asheville is the first in the nation to implement this innovative financial model, called the Green Capital Improvement Program, where all the energy savings pay for the energy efficiency investment. These lighting upgrades build further upon the successful lighting ordinance passed in 2008, which ensures all municipal streetlights adhere to “Dark Sky” standards.

For more information about these upgrades please visit the frequently asked questions page at or email

Click here for more background on the City of Asheville’s LED streetlight upgrades.

One comment

    December 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

    We note with great interest that you state that the lighting levels with the new LED lighting will be equal to what you had before, with your HPS lamps.

    We have been pursuing LED roadway lighting fixtures that would actually do that for 3 years, and found none

    There were many of the “LED only manufacturers” who would CLAIM equal illimination outcome, with 50-70% energy savings and virtually no maintenance, but only now and only GE has produced a product that will do it, and they are of course have been a leader in the design and manufacturing of lighting of all kinds for a very long time.. The others claimed 1.4FC when replacing 250HPS fixtures but actual measured at 0.6FC., which we of course knew that we could get by simply changing our HPS lamp sizes from 250w HPS to 100w HPS.

    Could you please tell us what your conditions were before: existing pole spacing, lamps used (250w HPS?) actual FC measured, then what the replacement values are now in each case: LED wattage, 185w?, actual new FC measured.

    thanks much for your assistance,

    Thomas Drake
    Street Lighting Superintendent
    City of Grand Rapids, Michigan


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