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Industry News
$16 Million San Diego Lighting Upgrade Uses Broad-Spectrum Induction Technology
October 5, 2011

The city of San Diego, California, has launched a $16 million street-lighting upgrade. The city will replace 35,311 conventional high-pressure sodium (HPS) units with more efficient, longer-lasting broad-spectrum induction units. The National Lighting Bureau reported that the city expects to save $2.2 million per year thanks to energy- and maintenance-cost savings. According to Robert W. “Rob” Colgan, Jr., the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) representative on the NLB board of directors, broad-spectrum induction lighting also produces a more natural quality of light, emulating daylight “in several respects. By contrast, high-pressure sodium lighting produces what’s been called ‘golden-white light.’ Although colors remain recognizable under HPS lighting, the light source causes color-shifting; for example, reds can take on a brownish hue.” Mr. Colgan – NECA’s executive director for market development – noted that color-corrected HPS lamps also are available, but they are not as efficient as their conventional counterparts.

San Diego’s decision to proceed was based in part on an independent study it commissioned to establish the feasibility of a broad-spectrum approach. According to the
study report (http://www.continuumindustries.com/pdfs/100104assessment): 

“The City of SD requires specific lamp characteristics for the street lighting due to its arrangement with the local astronomers at Palomar Observatory: “For consistency with the City’s position with the local astronomers, consideration should be given to only 3000K as the color temperature for any street light medium.” SDG&E [San Diego Gas & Electric] honored the City’s request to evaluate the potential energy savings of broad spectrum lighting technologies, specifically induction and LED, at the requested 3000K correlated color temperature (CCT)…. The results of this technology assessment project indicate a change in street light technology from the current High Pressure Sodium (HPS) to an advanced street light technology using broad spectrum lighting may result in a number of benefits. These include:

•  Reduced energy consumption (up to 40%)
•  Reduced Green House Gas (GHG) emissions…
•  Improved color rendering (a more pleasing appearance within the City of SD)
•  Reduced maintenance costs (longer lamp life resulting in fewer lamp  replacements). 

Other indirect benefits include reductions in light pollution and with careful selection of the replacement luminaires, a reduction in potential human health risks associated with human circadian rhythms and melatonin production.” 

A city-issued fact sheet noted that San Diego “chose induction lighting over LED lamps because a 20-year life-cycle study showed broad band induction lights saved more energy, were less expensive and provided better light. The retrofit project began Sept. 13 and, when completed next summer, will reduce electricity consumption by 16 million annual kilowatt-hours of each year, yielding a corresponding carbon emission reduction
of more than 12,000 tons yearly.”

The city retained Southern Contracting Company – a NECA-member electrical contractor – to implement the project. Work has already begun and will continue at a pace of some 2,600 replacements per month, until completion in early 2013. Speaking at San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ press conference announcing the project, Southern CEO Timothy R. McBride noted that, with respect to the existing fixtures his company will replace, “Nothing will hit a landfill….Everything will be recycled, and that’s to the tune of about 610 tons of material.”

“This is exactly the kind of project the NECA and Bureau have been promoting for years,” Mr. Colgan said. “It’s what High-Benefit Lighting™ is all about, where a carefully selected, well-designed system is installed to achieve maximum benefit for the people being served, in terms of the quality of light being provided and in terms of the bottom line.” NECA is a founder of the Bureau.

For a copy of the San Diego relighting fact sheet, click here.

More information about the project also can be found here.

Established in 1976, the National Lighting Bureau is an independent, not-for-profit, lighting-information source sponsored by professional societies, trade associations, manufacturers, and agencies of the U.S. government, including, among others:

• enLIGHTen America;
• GE Lighting;
• Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES);
• Imperial Lighting Maintenance Company;
• interNational Association of Lighting Management Companies (NALMCO);
• Lighting Alternatives, Inc.;
• Lighting Controls Association;
• Lutron Electronics Company, Inc.;
• Magnaray;
• National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA);
• National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA);
• OSRAM SYLVANIA; and
• U.S. General Services Administration.

For more information about the Bureau, visit www.nlb.org or contact its staff by telephone (301/587-9572) or e-mail ([email protected]).
 

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