The Company / LED in Boston
Boston planning to convert lights to LEDs City has bright idea
By Christine McConville | Sunday, December 20, 2009
The nation’s oldest park is going high-tech - and soon so will the Hub.
In a well-traveled section of the Boston Common, Mayor Thomas M. Menino has begun what he hopes will be a city-wide conversion from traditional lightbulbs to light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. And he’s looking for the public’s help in picking the best of the newest lighting options for Hub streets.
The cutting-edge lights promise to lower the city’s energy costs, curb its greenhouse gas emissions, reduce light pollution and even trim maintenance costs.
Despite the benefits, the city isn’t queuing up to replace the bulbs in all its 64,000 streetlights just yet.
First, it wants the public’s help in determining which of the available LED products work best for Boston, a city of history and innovation.
Then, it will weigh the cost of the conversion against the potential savings at a time when LED prices are falling.
“It’s not a question of ‘if’ we’ll replace them,” said James W. Hunt, Boston’s energy and environment chief. “We are going to do it, but only when it makes the most sense from a cost-benefit analysis.”
Between now and writing that check, Menino is conducting a public poll along the Mayor’s Walk in Boston Common.
The footpath now features different streetlamps in a variety of styles from six different LED manufacturers, Lumec Lighting Co., Hadco Lighting, Sternberg Lighting, Osram Sylvania Co., King Luminaire Co. and Spring City Electrical Co.
The trial lamps feature a range of styles, brightness and hue, and signage along the path shows pedestrians how to cast their votes.
The city promises to take the votes and feedback into account when selecting the final vendor.
Menino said the conversation “will make Boston one of the country’s leaders in the use of green technology.”
LED streetlights use less than half of the energy of traditional streetlights while producing better quality light.
After the Boston Transportation Department switched its 11,000 traffic signals and 1,800 pedestrian crossing lights to LEDs, the department’s annual energy costs dropped $400,000.
LEDs also last three to four times longer than traditional lightbulbs, and because their light is more targeted, supporters say they will cut back on light pollution, too.
These days, Boston’s streetlights generate some 24,000 tons of carbon emissions a year. Conversion to LED technology would reduce that by about half, officials claim.http://www.bostonherald.com/business/general/view.bg?articleid=1220071