New LED streetlights can be seen in action

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MISC_LED Streetlights_homepage

** This story was updated Sept. 27 with the locations where new LED fixtures have been installed. **

Plans to update the nearly 100,000 streetlights in OPPD’s service territory are moving forward.

In September, OPPD representatives met with municipalities, counties and other streetlight customers about the transition from high-pressure sodium fixtures to LED fixtures. The utility is finalizing which LED fixture design it will go with, looking at several options to determine which will be the best for customers both in terms of cost and function.

LED locations

On Sept. 27, OPPD released a list of locations where the new LED fixtures are currently installed. They are:

  • 20th Street to 21st Street north of Mayflower, Bellevue
  • Glen Street, from 115th to 117th streets
  • Western Ave, 163rd to 164th streets
  • Ohio Street, 149th to 150th streets
  • 180th Street from Burt Street to HWS Cleveland
  • Davenport, from 49th to 50th streets
  • OPPD Arboretum parking area
  • Dewey Street from 1st to 3rd streets, Cook, NE
  • 164th Street and Lafayette Avenue
  • 162nd Street and Western Avenue
  • Woolworth Street from 46th Avenue to 48th Street
  • City of Cedar Creek
  • 174th and Burke streets
  • 173rd and Chicago streets
  • South side of Harney Street mid-block between 16th and 17th streets
  • Valley Ridge Road, just east of 120th Street
conversion process

MISC_LED Streetlights_by the numbersThe streetlight conversion plan came after evaluating three scenarios based on the value to customers in terms of environmental impact, customer satisfaction, financial impact and technological advances. OPPD determined that a five-year conversion to LED in conjunction with lamp replacement would best meet these criteria. Installations are expected to begin late in 2018.

Leading up to the conversion, OPPD will utilize fixtures on-hand until the current stock is depleted. After that point, the new LED fixtures will be in stock and ready to install going forward.

OPPD will install the streetlights one at a time as they burn out, rather than installing miles of streetlights at once.

Todd McLochlin, manager of Utilities and Right of Way Coordination at OPPD, said this process “utilizes existing maintenance cycles and provides a fair and non-discriminatory process for selecting the order for converting the fixtures.”

community partnerships

Over many years of collaborating with streetlight customers, they have come to rely on OPPD to provide expertise, not just in streetlight restoration, but also with knowledge of the latest technologies and design concepts.

“We will continue to have their best interests in mind, build upon our community partnerships and explore all of the opportunity and future potential that LED streetlight technology can bring,” said Steve Fanslau, director Customer Service and Government Infrastructure.

reducing costs

A total of 98,744 streetlights cover the roads and highways of the service territory. By converting the streetlights to LED fixtures, the municipalities that contract with OPPD would see a 25-percent reduction in their overall streetlight costs. This is why:

  • The lifespan of LED streetlights is four times longer than the current high-pressure sodium fixtures in place for most customers – 15 to 20 years compared to five years.
  • Cities, towns, sanitary and improvement districts, and other municipalities will see an average of 25-percent reduction in their bill, which translates to savings for their taxpayers.
  • Increased reliability with fewer streetlight outages.
  • LED fixtures emit a bright, white light compared to the amber tones of current streetlights. This provides better visibility for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and serves to deter crime.

Beyond cost savings and reliability, when LED lights fail, they dim as opposed to going completely dark.

OPPD expects to see a decrease in streetlight outages once the conversion is complete, which will help reduce maintenance, a large component of the streetlight rate. It will also benefit the environment by reducing waste from materials and fuel.

Laura King-Homan

About Laura King-Homan

Laura King-Homan is the managing editor of The Wire and a communications specialist at the Omaha Public Power District. She has nearly 20 years of print journalism and design experience, including the Omaha World-Herald.

2 thoughts on “New LED streetlights can be seen in action”

  1. Switching to LED traffic lights appears to be a good thing to do. But in the news stories about it, I’ve not yet heard the answer to a concern some people have: It is stated that the current lights generate enough heat to melt ice & snow that may cover the lights during a snowstorm. But LED lights generate very little heat. Therefore, this may be a wintertime problem if the LED lights get covered with snow. What is the answer to this, or is it a concern at all? Thanks!

    1. Hi Robert,
      LED streetlights face down rather than horizontally. OPPD has been working with regional utilities that have already converted to LED to evaluate this risk. Snow cover has not been an issue.

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