Taylor ‘going green’ with LED streetlight program

Illustration courtesy of the city of Taylor

Illustration courtesy of the city of Taylor

TAYLOR — The city will “go green” through a new streetlight replacement program, Mayor Rick Sollars announced during his weekly podcast. Changing out the lights will show an annual savings of $250,000 to the city.

Most of the work is scheduled to be done this fall and next spring.

Most main street corridors are outfitted with old mercury-vapor or high-pressure sodium lights. The new program will focus on 428 lights on Telegraph Road and another 1,250 elsewhere in the city.

According to DTE, LED street lights are more energy efficient and will save money on the city’s energy bill. In addition, LED street lights are more reliable and will enhance safety.

Considering the price of electricity alone, a standard mercury-vapor streetlight uses 205 watts of electricity, while an LED streetlight uses 65 watts to achieve the same effect. On a larger scale, a 455-watt mercury-vapor streetlight is matched in light quality and effectiveness by a 135-watt LED streetlight.

The payback for upgrading to LED streetlights is two to three years, and municipal savings accrue quickly with operational cost reductions of 25 percent to 40 percent per streetlight.

“This really fits what we’re trying to do as a government,” Sollars said. “This program is a fiscally responsible move for our citizens, and it’s good business for the city. It’s a win-win. Good government.”

The benefits of LED streetlights are many, he said. Along Allen Road, the Southgate side of the street is already LED, while the Taylor side is not.

“You can really see the difference right there,” Sollars said. “The LED is brighter and whiter.”

The LED lighting also lasts longer.

DTE, which is responsible for most street lights in Taylor, is offering an aggressive rebate program.

The initial focus of the program will be along Telegraph Road, where the old lights have been most problematic for several reasons. When that corridor was upgraded, the lights installed were an upgrade — the “Cadillac of lights,” as Sollars called them. When it came to repairing them, DTE had to special order them and the cost was substantial. One light, pole and all, can cost up to $7,000.

At one point this year, about 10 percent of Telegraph lights in Taylor were not working.