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LED Streetlighting Conversion Project

With few exceptions, the majority of streetlights in Loyalist Township are high-pressure sodium (HPS) light fixtures. While these fixtures have served an important safety function during their service, recent improvements in illumination technology have prompted many municipalities to convert their old HPS streetlights to light emitting diode (LED) fixtures. Loyalist Township Council has made the decision to have the Township's cobra head-style HPS lights converted to high-efficiency LED fixtures.

The LED installation work is underway and progressing well. The contractor, A-Line Utility, has replaced lights in Wilton and some in Odessa and rural areas, and is currently in Amherstview. Because the work is now underway, we will generally not repair cobra-head streetlights that are either out or are turning off and on. There are some exceptions, however, so we ask that you please continue to report streetlights to us so that staff may take the appropriate action. To report streetlight outages, please call the Odessa office, 613-386-7351, ext. 116.

What are the benefits of LED lighting over HPS fixtures?

Energy savings
LED lights use about 60% less electricity than HPS lights. For instance, a typical HPS fixture used in a residential neighbourhood uses a 100-watt bulb. This fixture would be replaced by a 53-watt LED fixture. A 250-watt HPS bulb used in a high-traffic area would be replaced by a 101-watt LED fixture. These lower wattage LED bulbs do not mean lower light levels; you may find the LED to be a bit brighter. 

An LED light fixture can be expected to be in service for fifteen to twenty years, while an HPS bulb lasts approximately 4-5 years. Additionally, LED fixtures contain multiple diodes; therefore, if one diode burns out, the other diodes remain lit. 

Reduced outage time and maintenance costs
HPS lights come with high maintenance demands, including replacing bulbs and other components.  These repairs are costly as they require the use of a bucket truck and traffic control. LED fixtures don’t use light bulbs which have fragile filaments, and their components are more reliable. The level of maintenance for the lamps is expected to reduce significantly.

Improved light quality, reduced light pollution
HPS lights are known for producing an orange glow in the sky over towns where they are in use. LED fixtures not only produce a more natural light, but they are better at focusing light downward. Therefore, less light is lost in the air, reducing urban sky glow and improving the visibility of the night sky.

Recently there has been some discussion that LED lights can be too “white”.  The original municipal LED installations were often described as having a heat value of 4000K and the light that was produced was very white.  Loyalist Township has selected LED lamps defined as a heat value of 3000K which have a light that more resembles the colour of light emitted by traditional HPS lamps.  The changes in the heat value do not affect the energy consumption or maintenance requirements of the LED lights. 

Image shows depicts visual difference between HPS and 3000 kelvin LED streetlights

This image shows an approximate comparison between HPS lights and 3000K LED lamps.

Protecting the environment
HPS light bulbs contain mercury. When they must be replaced about every 4-5 years they require special disposal. LEDs don’t contain any mercury or gas vapours. 
Another environmental benefit is the reduced energy consumption, which means lower carbon emissions go into powering them. 

Return on investment
Because of the significant savings in energy and maintenance costs of LEDs (about 69% less than HPS fixtures), the cost of converting the HPS lamps to LEDs is recovered quickly. Loyalist Township staff have estimated that the project cost will be completely recovered in operating savings, in less than four years. 

What is the plan for Loyalist Township?

As of November 22, the project is underway. The Township’s contractor has begun removing existing cobra head style HPS fixtures and replacing them with LED fixtures. Completion is anticipated before the new year.

A Cobra head style light fixture
Some areas, particularly newer developments in the village of Bath, have decorative streetlight fixtures. Only cobra head style fixtures are being replaced at this time. The Township is currently investigating the feasibility of exchanging decorative style streetlamps to newer LED models but this is in the very early stages of evaluation. A decision on this conversion will be evaluated as part of the next municipal budget process.

Replacement of lamps is being done on a one-for-one basis, meaning that the new fixtures are to be installed in the same location, using the same poles as the previous lights. Due to the fact that illumination patterns or intensity levels for LED fixtures are different than they are for cobra head style fixtures, one can expect brightness levels to vary through the transition period. This will mean that in some areas, lighting levels will be different than what residents have been accustomed to. However, because of the differences, Loyalist Township has had an analysis done to ensure the service level will be the same or better with the new LED lights.

If you have questions regarding the LED streetlight conversion, please contact the Supervisor of Facility Operations at 613-386-8351, ext. 208.