Street Light Conversion

Brewer LED Streetlight Conversion Project

In 2017, the City initiated a study to investigate whether or not newly passed legislation enabling municipalities to take over ownership and maintenance responsibilities for street lights would benefit the City of Brewer.  Currently, most of the City’s street lights are owned by the power utility (Emera Maine) and rented to the City for a monthly fee per fixture that includes all costs associated with installing, operating and maintaining the fixtures.  By purchasing the existing lights and replacing them with new, city-owned & maintained state of the art LED fixtures, we are projecting that our monthly costs can be reduced by as much as 80 -85%, saving the City over $100,000 per year.  The decision to proceed was pretty much a “no-brainer”.  Below are answers to some of the more frequently asked questions that we hope shed some light (pun intended) on this exciting project, which will be completed in the spring of 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of streetlights does Brewer currently use?
    The majority of streetlights currently used in Brewer are High Pressure Sodium (HPS) lights. While HPS is one of the most common streetlight technologies across the country, it has several drawbacks. HPS streetlights are not very energy efficient, cast an orange light under which it is difficult to see color, and tend to produce light that is not of optimal quality.
  • What are LED streetlights?
    Light Emitting Diodes (LED) are a technology that has been used in solid state lighting for decades. More recently, LED technology has advanced to streetlight applications. LED streetlights are extremely energy efficient, have long life spans, and produce a better color and quality of light than typical High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights.
  • What color of light are LED streetlight fixtures?
    Contrary to the orange light that High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures produce, LED streetlight fixtures are a cooler, white light under which it is easier to see true colors. HPS lights have a color temperature of 2,200 Kelvin while Brewer’s new LED lights will have a color temperature of 3,000 Kelvin.
  • Why do the new LED fixtures appear to be dimmer?
    Although the new LED fixtures produce a different looking light than the HPS fixtures they replaced, they are not actually dimmer. HPS fixtures tend to produce a bright spot directly underneath the fixture, whereas LEDs create a more even pool of light across the ground or roadway.
  • Why is Brewer doing an LED streetlight conversion project?
    Brewer is interested in reducing its energy consumption and maintenance costs associated with street lighting. Installing LED streetlight fixtures will save energy, require less maintenance, and will provide citizens with better light quality on streets and roadways.
  • How many streetlights is Brewer replacing with the LED streetlight conversion project?
    This project will replace approximately 900 streetlights throughout Brewer, most of which are standard streetlights (called “cobra heads”.)
  • How much will Brewer likely save when it upgrades to LED streetlight fixtures?
    The project is expected to save Brewer approximately 280,000 kilowatt hours and over $110,000 in energy costs in the first year after the project is implemented.
  • How long will the project last?
    The installation is scheduled to begin on April 23rd and will run through the end of May.
  • What are the benefits of the LED streetlight fixture project?
    The benefits of this project in Brewer include:

    • Reduced energy consumption resulting in energy cost savings and decreased greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Reduced maintenance costs.
    • Better visible light for Brewer’s citizens. 
  • What is Brewer doing with all of the streetlights it is removing?
    The existing High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights will be recycled in accordance with all federal and state environmental guidelines.
  • Who is the contact for additional questions about the LED streetlight conversion project?
    For more information about the LED Streetlight Conversion project, please contact Frank Higgins, City Engineer, at fhiggins@brewermaine.gov.