LED lights cost more

Residents who live along a Red Deer street where new energy-efficient lights are being tested are overwhelmingly in favour of them so far.

Residents who live along a Red Deer street where new energy-efficient lights are being tested are overwhelmingly in favour of them so far.

A total of 22 LED lights and high-efficiency metal halide lights were installed in eight sections along Addington Drive in the neighbourhood of Anders, and since then, some of those lights are using half the power of the current model.

A total of 46 residents have answered a city survey on what they think of these lights, and most of their comments were overwhelmingly positive. Seventy-five per cent of respondents said the lights were “significantly better” or “better” than regular lights.

Initial feedback indicates the road is brighter and that the colour, glare and uniformity are better than other street lighting in Red Deer.

“People are finding the lighting is quite a bit brighter even though technically it’s not,” said Garfield Lee, senior electrical distribution engineer for the city.

Another 10 per cent of respondents said the lights were worse, and the remaining 15 per cent of respondents felt the new lights made no difference.

Although response has been positive, the City of Red Deer may wait to turn on the switch for these “green” lights.

The lights are producing half the power, but the initial cost to put them in are a lot higher than traditional lights — about $500 more each. Some of the LED fixtures are worth $1,000 each, Lee said.

The city estimates that it would take more than 20 years to recover this cost with the most-efficient LED, which has annual energy savings of $25 per light.

“Because they are very new products, we’re expecting the price to come down quite substantially in the next year or two,” said Lee. “I’d rather not rush into it.”

Residents can still respond to the survey by June 15, through www.reddeer.ca and find the link, Feature Content.

The LED test lights were provided by the manufacturers to the city at no cost for three months but the city did spend about $11,000 on things like wiring, labour and signs.

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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