Things may be getting brighter for parts of southeast Fort Worth as city officials are set to start a pilot project aimed at seeing if LED street lights are worth the cost of replacing older lights.
The project is focused on an area of the city south of Interstate 30 and east of Interstate 35W and will target major arterial streets and highways. Residential streets will not be a part of this study.
“[Southeast Fort Worth] consistently has a higher call load of maintenance calls, lights going out, wires stolen, poles that are high maintenance,” Fort Worth Transportation & Public Works Department assistant director Alonzo Linan said. “If we can make the lights last longer, still provide just as much or better light, with less maintenance than this seems to be the place we'd want to see that happen.”
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The goal is to see if the cost to install LEDs is worth the energy and maintenance savings the newer lights could provide. The average life span of the city’s high pressure sodium, metal halide and mercury vapor lights is about two years. LED lights can last up to 10 years and require far less maintenance.
“Ultimately the goal for having LED lights is to improve the customer service we provide to the citizens, to have light at night and to do it more effectively while preserving the scare resources that we have,” Linan said.
There is no estimate on the potential cost savings. The city hopes this pilot project will allow them to compare energy costs and maintenance calls from the old lights to the brighter LEDs.
Linan said the city should know within a few months if there is such a benefit to the city spending the money to install LEDs. He said the city typically looks at a 10-year pay back in such programs.
LEDs are already required as part of new developments and have been put in as part of capital improvement projects throughout the city, but a replacement program is now being considered.
The pilot program is set to start in late June.