Hempstead, N.Y., the largest township in the U.S., is shifting to LED technology. The community has converted more than 50,000 high-pressure sodium fixtures to LED streetlights.

The initial project was completed in December 2016, three months ahead of schedule. The streetlight project delivers an anticipated two and a half-year payback with nearly $3 million in annual energy savings and $57 million in total lifetime savings. Future phases are planned to bring LED lighting to the town’s municipal buildings, parks and marinas.

“The use of environmentally friendly technology is a win-win for the town,” Anthony Santino, Hempstead’s supervisor, says. “The new LED luminaires generate significant energy savings that provide unprecedented environmental and fiscal benefits to benefit our town and residents.”

Hempstead is located in Nassau County, just east of New York City, and has a population of nearly 800,000, making it larger than some U.S. cities. Looking to improve visibility while preserving the historic look of the residential streetscape, the town selected the Cree DPT Series for Decorative Post-Top luminaires. The lighting unit delivers a 3000K color temperature for warm and inviting illumination, and delivers up to 74 percent savings over the earlier technology. The manufacturer’s XSP Series was selected for illumination on major roadways, and Cree OSQ flood luminaires with NanoOptic Precision Delivery Grid optics were installed in parking lots.

Cree was selected for the project after a test installation on the Sunrise Highway demonstrated annual energy savings of $75,000. That level of savings is a 63 percent improvement over the previous technology for that roadway alone. Recognizing the overall savings potential, Hempstead officials worked with Best LED Group and Cree to design, assemble and deploy a full package that would provide a better quality light experience throughout the town.

Today, Hempstead has reduced spending for its street and parking lot lighting through reduced utility bills and elimination of virtually all maintenance costs – all while providing better light experiences over the lighting’s lifetime.

“We had our eyes on LED technology for quite a few years because of the impressive energy savings. However, we had yet to find the ideal package that made economic sense,” Gary Aue,  Hempstead’s street lighting supervisor, says. “After reviewing Cree’s options, we saw there was a lot of money to be saved while providing the town with new lighting for a greater sense of comfort and safety that met all our needs, so we proceeded as soon as possible.”

Town officials are looking ahead to additional LED lighting installations down the road. They are aware that their local utility offers sizable indoor rebates and labor costs supplements for LED fixtures.

“We’re not stopping until the entire town in converted to LED lighting,” Aue says.

Go here for more information on Cree.

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