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LED Streetlights

Arterial LED Streetlight Conversions:

City Light will continue to improve customer safety by converting streetlights on arterial roadways from high-pressure sodium lights to energy-efficient light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The new LED lights support visibility and safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. 

The City of Seattle sets regulations based on national standards for how much light should be provided on roadways to maintain safe driving conditions and ensure pedestrian safety. As LED technology continues to evolve, City Light will continue monitoring all studies and stay compliant with all standards.

Arterial streetlight conversion work began in Seattle city limits in late March 2015. Arterial roadways that have had the new LEDs installed are between Denny Way and 145th Street from Puget Sound to Lake Washington and from Denny Way to Brandon Street from I-5 and east to Lake Washington. The work continues to be ahead of schedule allowing for additional conversion work extending south of Brandon Street.  Depending on progress, it is anticipated that streetlights on arterial roadways will be converted to LED as far south as Seattle city limits by mid-2017 and to be followed by arterial conversion work from Denny Way to Brandon Street from I-5 and West to Puget Sound, all well ahead of schedule.  Please see the map for more details.

Benefits of LED Conversion Include:
  • Approximately 48 to 62 percent lower energy consumption
  • High-pressure sodium luminaires, most installed in the mid-1980s, are at the end of their useful lives and failing. LEDs will provide better service reliability and lower maintenance costs.
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions:
    • In manufacturing
    • When LEDs are in use
    • Fewer service vehicle trips for repairs will mean a reduction of about 20,000 tons of carbon each year
  • Replacement of luminaires with LED fixtures will provide three to four times longer field life than high-pressure sodium
  • LEDs are not affected by truck and roadway structure vibration
  • Better light quality (whiter/cooler color rendering)
  • Light quality improves safety because of depth of field and peripheral vision enhancements without distorted color
Schedule and Map of Arterial LED Streetlight Conversions: Residential LED Streetlight Conversions - Completed Late 2014

Seattle City Light converted its residential streetlights from high-pressure sodium lights to light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The decision was made after thorough evaluation and positive results from pilot projects.

Using the US Department of Energy and the Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium Retrofit Financial Analysis Tool, City Light estimated the simple payback for LED conversion of residential lights at 7.7 years. It will save the City an estimated $2.4 million in annual energy and maintenance costs.

LED conversion began north of the Ship Canal in 2010 and continued to the north service boundary. In 2012, the project converted residential streetlights from the south service boundary to Brandon Street. The remaining work was completed between Brandon and the Lake Union Ship Canal in late 2014.

LED Streetlights Programs and Information:

DOE Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium

Former Residential Pilot Area / Customer Surveys

Before shot for LED conversion After shot for LED conversion
High-pressure Sodium LED Conversion
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