Sound Off

Sound Off: Are the city and Westar going to launch a program to replace streetlights with LED bulbs to save energy?

Chad Luce, Westar Energy’s manager for customer and community relations, provided this answer: Westar continues to examine and test alternatives, including LED, for streetlights the company leases to the city of Lawrence. In Lawrence, that includes more than 3,500 lights. While LEDs use less energy than the high-pressure sodium lights that are currently installed, it is tremendously costly to replace fixtures, ballasts and lamps. As LED costs continue to fall, they will be a viable consideration in the future.


Nonsense 6 years, 2 months ago

Seems like it would have been a lot easier just to say not at this time but maybe in the future. sheesh.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 2 months ago

There are a lot of cities, Sunnyvale and Mountain View, CA, for example, who are installing LED street lights everywhere WHERE THE CITY OWNS THE STREET LIGHTS. Where PG&E owns the streetlights, they are doing noting. In many cities it's part city-owned and part company owned. The company portion, like Westar, doesn't do anything, because they don't have to - and they can charge the city more for their own streetlights, which are then leased to the city. The companies don't care about savings in electricity at all.

woodscolt 6 years, 2 months ago

Seems like a direct answer to a direct question would be more appropriate than a vague answer.

Tobin Neis 6 years, 2 months ago

What would be cool is if Westar would do something like Festival Hydro is doing in Stratford, Ontario. From the Forbe's article:

The utility will give 100,000 LED bulbs equipped with wireless chips to residential and business customers in Stratford, Ontario with smart meters. Through the smart meters and wireless connections, customers will essentially let Festival Hydro dim their lights during peak periods or off-hours. (Bridgelux will provide the LED technology while Anycomm will provide the software for controlling the system for the pilot.)

Consumers will be able to override the system, but Festival Hydro expects that most of them will stick with the program. Most of the time, consumers likely won’t even notice a difference: studies have shown that lights in office buildings can be dimmed by 40 percent for as long as a half an hour without anyone complaining.

In the end, consumers will experience lower bills, the utility will be able to curb peak power consumption and the maintenance staff won’t have to change bulbs as often.

Festival Hydro will give its customers LEDs for free. Let’s repeat that. Free, as in no money down ever. The power conserved will pay for the bulbs. (Each bulb will leave the factory already matched to a smart meter, so a black market in free bulbs likely won’t erupt.)

If trials like these succeed, utilities will start giving out millions of free LEDs. The power consumption avoided will let them postpone investing millions into new fossil fuel power plants for years.

Even bulbs in stores that aren’t part of utility programs are already rapidly dropping in price. Several manufacturers sell $20 LED bulbs that put out as much light as a 60-watt incandescent. $20! Yes, but that bulb will shave $10 off your utility bill a year and last until 2025 or longer. You’ll make over $100 in the long run."

JerryStubbs 6 years, 2 months ago

I have found several LED bulbs for sale at HOME DEPOT for less than $20 that are well worth the money, providing good light for the money/wattage and if they last half as long as they claim on the package (up to 42 years) they'll be worth it just for the convenience of not having to replace the bulb.

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