Town of Sidney electrian Ron Green demonstrates how easy it is to install new LED lamps in the municipality’s street lights. The Town upgraded their 110 lights and expects to save $4,500 a year in energy costs. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Sidney lights up with more efficient bulbs

Town estimates it’ll save $4,500 a year with new LED streetlights

Enough energy will be saved to power 4.1 average households in Sidney, as the municipality switches to more efficient streetlights.

By the end of August, the Town of Sidney replaced 110 streetlights in the downtown core with LED bulbs. Tim Tanton, Sidney’s Director of Engineering, Parks and Works says the new lights use half as much energy as the conventional metal-halide lights that once cast their glow upon the streets.

Ron Green, the Town’s electrician, said it took him a total of 40 hours to replace all 110 bulbs. The LED lights they are using, explained, are simple to install — and they have the potential to last a lot longer than the older, conventional bulbs. That’s around 50,000 hours, compared with only 20,000 hours for conventional bulbs. Green said he installed LED lights in a street fixture at the corner of Sidney Avenue and 2nd Street in 2013 and to date, he’s not had to replace it or fix it.

Green demonstrated just how easy it was to install the LED lights, using a bucket truck to rise up to the streetlight, which had already been gutted, and attach the new system.

The lights will save Sidney an estimated 45,000 kilowatt hours per year — enough energy to power 4.1 average households.

Tanton said the light replacement project cost the Town approximately $60,000. At an annual energy cost savings of $4,500, it would take just over 13 years to break even. Tanton added there is an extra savings in maintenance costs that would have that cost paid off much earlier.

The new lights, in addition to being more efficient, produce a more natural, whiter light and point downwards more, reducing light pollution.

Tanton added there are 390 more streetlights in Sidney — all of which are owned by BC Hydro. He said the Town is quite willing to be a guinea pig for Hydro, should they decide to pick a community in which to embrace all-LED bulbs.

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