Greening Our Streetlights – LED Street Light FAQ
Kingston’s streetlights consume 1.9 million kWh of energy annually.
Update on LED Retrofit Project
The replacement of all the streetlights is expected to take 3-4 months and began in the first week in January 2020.
On Monday January 6th, 2020, the LED Retrofit Project got underway and is moving along. D&M, the construction firm on the project, has two crews out and is working to modify the Cobrahead lights first, then will work on the decorative lights.
To follow the live progress of the LED Retrofit Process, see the Installed Locations Tracker. In the map on the link, all green dots represent lights that have been retrofitted already.
Background on LED Retrofit Process
The City of Kingston began the process of evaluating our street lighting back in 2014 at which time C.T. Male Associates prepared the Street Lighting Replacement Energy and Feasibility Analysis for the City of Kingston. The focus of that analysis was to evaluate the energy and cost savings from the upgrade of the existing street lighting in the City of Kingston with a more efficient light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology. This analysis included an audit of the city's streetlights. The City's streetlights are comprised of mostly three types of high intensity discharge (HID) lamps that are less efficient than the newest LED lamps. High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Mercury Vapor (MV), Metal Halide (MH) and Incandescent fixtures consume a large amount of energy for the amount of light they produce. The analysis concluded that the existing fixtures be replaced with equivalent LED fixtures. It was also recommended that the City should purchase our lights from Central Hudson so that the City would own and take over the maintenance of our street lighting. In 2015, the project was put out to bid but not awarded.
Subsequent to that study, the City worked closely with the Mid-Hudson Streetlight Consortium for several years, along with other municipalities in the region, to proceed through the process of procuring our street lights from Central Hudson with the intent to retrofit our streetlights to LED. In October of 2015, the City Common Council authorized the bonding in the amount of $2,100,000.00 for the LED Street Lighting Conversion Project. In March of 2017, the City of Kingston purchased our streetlights (poles and fixtures) from Central Hudson for $470,808.00.
In April 2018 the City authorized the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to proceed with the City of Kingston LED Street Lighting Project which will upgrade all of our non-LED street lights to LEDs with a proposed annual savings of over $100,000 per year. This project is a turn-key initiative, led by Wendel Energy Services as the implementation contractor for NYPA.
In the Summer of 2018, the project was launched and Wendel conducted a GIS audit of all of Kingston's street lights and park lights. This audit, with further information from City staff, the administration, and public safety personnel as well as coordination among multiple city transportation projects, helped to develop the preliminary design for the project.
The City is part of a larger aggregate of local communities who is participating in a bulk purchase of LED lighting from NYPA as well as an aggregate retrofit. This means that one contractor is being chosen for all of the municipalities and will do them all as part of one large project, of which Kingston will be first.
Most streetlights currently in place utilize High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamp technologies, which include High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Mercury Vapor (MV), and Metal Halide (MH) lamps. HPS lamps cast a yellowish-white light, whereas MV lamps cast a blueish-green light, and MH lamps cast a bright, white light. LED technology is replacing all three types. The new LED fixtures will look very similar to what is currently installed. The majority of the existing lights use a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Lamp that lights have a yellowish-white light, while the new LEDs have a warm white light. The City is standardizing on 3000K color temperature, a warm white light, in compliance with the American Medical Association’s guidelines.
In the past year, prior to this major LED retrofit project, the city has already replaced over 250 streetlights with 3000K LEDs.