S.F. replacing old streetlights with cheaper, better LED bulbs

By John Coté : sfgate – excerpt

For years, Queen’s Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe, at the southern end of a commercial strip on San Bruno Avenue, was a destination in darkness.

“Really dark and gloomy” was how Queen’s owner, Danielle Reese, described nighttime in that stretch of San Francisco’s Portola neighborhood.

Now a clear, white light from a new streetlamp illuminates the front of Reese’s restaurant after dark, a sign of things to come as San Francisco prepares to replace 18,500 old, high-pressure sodium streetlights with more efficient ones that use light-emitting diodes, or LEDs.

The new lights are not just supposed to be brighter, but smarter…

The new streetlights are supposed to consume about half as much energy as the ones they replace, last four to five times longer and cut the amount of glare radiating into the night sky, reducing light pollution…

San Francisco officials anticipate total savings of about $1.4 million a year. If that materializes, the lights would pay for themselves in about eight years, and they’re designed to be maintenance-free for 15 years or more.

Beyond cost savings, the new lights will be connected wirelessly to a computer network, allowing them to be monitored and controlled remotely. They will automatically alert maintenance staff if a light goes out and can be dimmed during off-peak times to save energy.

Different owners

Roughly 60 percent of San Francisco’s 46,000 street lights are owned by the SFPUC. Most of the rest are owned by Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a private utility, with still others owned by the Port of San Francisco and the state transportation department, Caltrans… (more)

This is good news to those of us who have been requesting better illumination of intersections for some time. The safest pedestrians are the ones you can see.



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