Regional Wrap-Up: Which Communities Have Converted to LED Streetlights?

City of Yonkers
In July 2013, under the leadership of former Sustainability Director Brad Tito and Mayor Spano, the City of Yonkers launched the LED Street Light Replacement Project to replace all 12,000 of the city’s cobra heads with new LED lights. The LEDs will cut Yonkers’ energy bill by 60%, save taxpayers $18 million in energy costs over ten years and reduce Yonkers’ carbon footprint by 3,000 tons annually.
The new lights are also extremely durable and last upwards of 80,000 hours or nearly 19 years. That means less ongoing maintenance and more taxpayer savings. They’re also a lot brighter than the old lights. That means improved lighting and increased public safety in our neighborhoods.
Village of Dobbs Ferry
The first community in Westchester to have done a significant installation of LED streetlights.  A 2009 greenhouse gas emissions inventory highlighted that the Village’s 700 lights, including a mix of high pressure sodium and incandescent, were responsible for 16% of municipal green house gas emissions and cost about $100K in annual energy costs.
The Village made the decision to leapfrog from the very outdated incandescent fixtures to LED. Since there were no significant installations of LED streetlights in the area at the time, from 2009-2010, the Department of Public Works tested various models for ease of installation and performance.
Dobbs Ferry contracted with a vendor in 2011, purchasing 300 fixtures for municipal use and including a provision allowing for purchases by other municipalities.
  • The Village decided to finance the fixtures itself as borrowing costs were low and the payback – 3 years – was very short.
  • The Village also decided to install the lights using public works staff and equipment.  This proved slow going, requiring 18 months to replace the 300 lights.
  • The lights have been installed for 4+ years. Superintendent of Public Works Gary Gardner reports that they have been trouble-free. No more than 1 has been replaced.  He also shared that there have been very few complaints about light quality and many fewer complaints related to streetlight outages.
City of New Rochelle
New Rochelle began its conversion of 7,000 streetlights to LED streetlights in December 2015. The switch to LED will save the City over 2,777,551.66 kwh annually, translating to $639,000 per year.
Under the leadership of Commissioner of Public Works Alex Tergis and Mayor Noam Bramson, the city issued an RFP and awarded a contract for replacement and installation of its 7,000 lights to Lumen Light Solutions.  Importantly, New Rochelle’s contract includes a provision that allows other municipalities to piggyback on their procurement – providing an option for either direct purchase or a performance contract structure.
This opportunity has been seized by many municipalities – according to Lumen, 16 municipalities are purchasing lights through the New Rochelle contract for a total of 30,000 fixtures.  One of those actually is Dobbs Ferry, which is completing is streetlight retrofit in this manner.
Visit nystreetlights.com for information and updates on municipal LED streetlight conversion.

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