Bellevue is in the process of converting old high-pressure sodium streetlights to energy-efficient LED
(light-emitting diode) fixtures. Beginning in 2019, the city began a project to convert approximately 1,500 city-owned streetlights and 700 streetlights owned by Puget Sound Energy (PSE) located on arterial streets.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and the conversions will result in approximately $150,000 in annual energy bill savings. Previously, in 2018, the city converted approximately 4,200 PSE lights to LEDs, mostly in residential areas.
Although funding needs will be evaluated upon completion of the current LED conversion project, further LED conversions are planned to include streetlights that are of the decorative type, including post mounted lights, commonly found in neighborhoods throughout Bellevue.
These decorative style streetlights were not included in the current or past LED conversion projects as the light output and energy savings versus the cost to replace them are much lower than those streetlights found on city arterials.
Benefits of LEDs
- Financial: LED lamps have a longer life, which equates to fewer lamp replacements and less maintenance and supply costs. Traditional high-pressure sodium lamps last about seven years; LED fixtures last 15 years or more.
- Environmental: LED lights use about half the electricity of sodium lamps and require less maintenance. Both of these factors reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. Also, there is no mercury used in the production of LED lights.
- Remote monitoring: LED lights will allow for remote monitoring and controlling of the lights in the future. The system will be able to detect and report failures. It will also allow for late-night dimming, resulting in additional energy savings.
- Quality of light: LED street lights provide more visibility, delivering improved vertical light distribution, reduced light "trespass" (both horizontally and vertically), excellent color qualities and clearer lighting.