Vancouver’s LED Street Light Project gets underway

Impacts within residential areas are generally expected to be minimal

VANCOUVER — Over the next nine months, the city of Vancouver will be converting 13,500 cobra-style street lights throughout the community to energy-efficient LED technology.

The city’s contractor for this project, Magnum Power of Kelso, will begin replacing those old high-pressure sodium lights with new LED fixtures starting this week in neighborhoods in the northeast portion of the city, roughly east of Interstate 205 and north of Northeast 18th Street. Photo courtesy of city of Vancouver
The city’s contractor for this project, Magnum Power of Kelso, will begin replacing those old high-pressure sodium lights with new LED fixtures starting this week in neighborhoods in the northeast portion of the city, roughly east of Interstate 205 and north of Northeast 18th Street. Photo courtesy of city of Vancouver

The city’s contractor for this project, Magnum Power of Kelso, will begin replacing those old high-pressure sodium lights with new LED fixtures starting this week in neighborhoods in the northeast portion of the city, roughly east of Interstate 205 and north of Northeast 18th Street.

To help the community follow along with this project, Vancouver Public Works has created a handy dashboard tool so residents can zoom in and see when street lights in their neighborhoods or along their favorite routes have made the switch to LED. Start by visiting www.cityofvancouver.us/streetlights. Then:

• Click on the link at the top right that best matches how you are viewing this site: desktop computer or mobile device.

• Zoom close into the map. Existing street light fixtures are shown in amber color.

• As city street lights are converted to LED, checked and approved, the color of those lights shown on the map will change to blue.  And we’ll add another to the LED count up.

As the project progresses, look for schedule updates and additional information to be posted on the city webpage and social media channels.

Under optimal conditions, installation of a single neighborhood LED fixture may be done in a flash, with the typical conversion taking only about 15 minutes. As a result, impacts within residential areas are generally expected to be minimal. Should crews encounter obstructive tree branches, a follow-up contractor with certified arborist on board will be tapped to help with trimming.

Along major commuter routes and heavily traveled streets, some short-term lane closures or other traffic control may be needed during LED fixture installation and inspection. Please slow down and give crews room to work. 

Light output from the new LED fixtures will be equivalent to the city’s existing street lights, but with improved light distribution and a warm white color that increases visibility while reducing impacts related to glare, sky glow and wildlife.

LED lights consume about 50 percent less energy than their high-pressure sodium predecessors. They have an estimated useful life of 20 years, so they last far longer and require less maintenance. And they have a reduced carbon footprint that’s environmentally friendly.

Funding for the LED project is supported by a low-interest loan from the state Public Works Board. Energy savings from the new LED fixtures – an estimated $500,000 per year – will be used to pay off the loan and set aside reserve funds for future fixture replacement expenses. Clark Public Utilities’ incentives for low-energy fixture usage – currently estimated at about $1.4 million – will also support the project.

Note: Only cobra-style City lights being converted with this project will be reflected in the data on the project dashboards. Decorative street lights, such as acorn and top hats fixtures, are expected to make the transition to LED at some future time, when stylized light fixtures with LED technology become more cost-effective. 

For more information or questions, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/streetlights.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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Andi Schwartz is a Graphic Designer with 19 years of experience ranging from a variety of print design projects, including newspaper layout and ad design, business collateral, screen printing and embroidery digitizing, label printing and web design.

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