Dec 31, 2009 9:35 PM by David Ortiviz
Pueblo is considering replacing its nearly 10,000 conventional street lights, with bulbs that are more energy efficient. The city has teamed up with Black Hills Energy to study the pros and cons of installing LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights.
"We recognized that LED was an emerging technology, that had promised to be a lot more efficient," said Dan Smith, Economic Development Director for Black Hills Energy.
In June, the power company installed 12 new LED lights and 12 new conventional lights along Bonforte Blvd. Over the next two years, they'll compare the life and energy consumption of both lights.
Visually, conventional lights give off an orange glow, whereas LED lights give off a white color.
Economically, LED lights use less energy. "The real selling point there is not only the efficiency, but how long they last," said Smith. Smith says the LED lights should last about 12 years. "That's a big savings for us, because we're replacing the (conventional) lights about every 4 to 5 years," said Smith.
Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is the cost to replace the lights. Smith says conventional lights cost $150 a piece, compared to LED lights, which cost about $850 each.
"It's a big difference if we decide to re-lamp the whole city," said Smith. "But with the saving in energy and the life of the light, we're hoping that will be a payoff--but that's why we're doing the 2-year pilot now," he added.
The existing conventional lights have been used since the late 1980s according to Smith.
Black Hills Energy and the City of Pueblo want your feedback about the LED lights. For more information visit the City of Pueblo website.