New York City adopts energy efficient LED lights citywide

LED Lamp Post, Central Park
LED Lamp Post, Central Park, Manhattan. Credit: New York City, Street Design Manual

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, recently announced the installation of light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures across New York City. Effected areas include Central Park, the East River Bridges, Eastern Parkway and the under-deck of Manhattan’s FDR Drive. The new LED based lighting installations is intended to provide substantial energy- and cost-savings, while also providing good, and in some cases improved illumination levels to these public spaces.

“Energy-efficient LEDs light up our parks, bridges and streets and also bring years of cost savings to our city”, said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “From recycled asphalt to low-emission fuel on the Staten Island Ferry to energy-saving necklace lights on the Brooklyn Bridge, we are engineering a greener, greater city for generations to come.” The LED program is expected to save nearly $300,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs fiscal year 2013, and additional savings is expected to follow.

New York City Department of Transportation, together with the Climate Group and the U.S. Department of Energy, initiated a multiyear study in 2009 as part of a global study to quantify the benefits for cities to use LED lighting versus existing fixtures. During the study, observations of LED fixtures on the FDR Drive and in Central Park showed significant energy savings with up to 50% on the FDR Drive, and 83% in Central Park. Given the results, the future for LED installations in New York City looks bright, and the ‘Big Apple’ might for future generations turn out to be a nice juicy ‘Green Apple’.

DOT will start replacing all 1,600 metal-halide fixtures in Manhattan’s iconic Central Park, and this is expected to deliver energy savings of up to 62%. It will also move forward to replace hundreds of remaining mercury-vapor necklace lights on all of the East River Bridges and install LED fixtures on key highways. DOT will also completely replace 1,200 fixtures along underpasses on the FDR Drive and at other Manhattan locations by the end of the year.

To date, over 400 light fixtures have already been upgraded, and by replacing existing 150 watt high-pressure sodium bulbs with 108 watt LED fixtures is expected to give an estimated energy savings of 30%. Through routine maintenance and capital construction contracts, DOT aims to replace all 5,500 under-deck lights citywide over the next few years.

“The Department of Transportation’s Introduction of LED fixtures in Central Park makes this green public space even ‘greener'”, said Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy. “Coupled with the Conservancy’s use of sustainable design materials and water conservation efforts, the City of New York’s forward-thinking improvements mean the Park will always be a phenomenal ‘back yard’ for New Yorkers.”

Press Release