LEDs in downtown Bellevue


In the past few years, the act of being “green” and saving energy has become increasingly popular. To keep up with times, and to save money and energy, the city of Bellevue will be converting half of the current streetlights to LED lights.
The plan is set to be carried out by 2016 and will save the city $173,000 annually. The project costs a total of  1.1 million dollars and will be funded by a number of sources, according to the Bellevue Reporter. A quarter of the money will be provided by the Department of Commerce energy efficiency grant with another $239,000 coming from rebates from Puget Sound Energy. After Puget Sound Energy and the Department of Commerce pitches in, it leaves $600,000 for the city of Bellevue to pay off. The balance will be paid for in three and a half years through Puget Sound Energy rebates, claimed Mark Poch, a Bellevue city traffic engineering manager.

Most of the light conversions will happen this year, and it’ll take the monthly charge the city pays per streetlight from $13 to $9. The city of Bellevue owns 3,100 streetlights and has already converted 170 of them to LED lights through pilot projects while Puget Sound Energy owns 5,600 and has only converted 280 to LED.

This project will result in a 50 percent energy reduction rate and the conversion of lights will fully begin in March. In addition to needing new lights, many of the street light poles will need new fixtures as well, which adds time and money to the project.

In 2012, BC installed brand new light fixtures all throughout the college. Not all of the lights were LED because of how expensive the lights can get, some of them are just high efficiency incandescent lights. According to Patrick Green, director of the office of sustainability, BC got a grant from the Department of Commerce which allotted $2.8 million dollars for the college to spend on updating lights and light fixtures as well as updating heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems as they were outdated.

In an attempt to further save energy and money, “the college has gotten better with behavior. You know, turning their lights off and making sure their thermostats are low. We also have the parking lots programmed to turn off at a certain time which is greatly reducing our demand for energy,” said Green.

This year, the college is expected to save $211,503 from switching the outdated lights to LEDs and energy efficient incandescent lights.