Questions abound about new streetlamp light bulbs in town

Red Phone

I observe the City of Gilroy is switching streetlights from the kind with the orange glow to LEDs and have several questions. What is the replacement cost of each new light being installed? What is the monthly electrical operating cost of a new vs. the old style streetlight? Are the citizens going to see a cost savings in the first year of operating the lights? Will the city be able to recoup the cost of the old lights by selling them to another municipality and not just dumping them in the trash? How many hours of operation should a light provide before the bulb or LED will need to be replaced? Is PGE helping cover part of the cost of replacing? Thank you for investigating.
Red Phone:
Red Phone commends you, good caller, for your accurate observation of the installation of new LED lamps throughout the City of Gilroy. For those unacquainted with Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lamps, they produce light using far less electricity than ordinary light bulbs and fluorescent lamps, and last 10 to 60 times longer.
Red Phone contacted Gilroy City Traffic Engineer Henry Servin to get the details.
“The total cost to replace 3,600 mercury street lamps in the entire city with LED lamps including the decorative lamps downtown is estimated to be $865,000, about half of the $1.8 million loan guaranteed by the State of California,” Servin said.
Red Phone did a quick calculation, which resulted in an average cost of about $250 per lamp. Furthermore, Red Phone was informed that PG&E would give Gilroy a rebate of $241,000 for switching over to LEDs. PG&E has the salvaging rights to the old lamps, since they are providing the rebate.
“Each LED lamp is guaranteed to last 22,000 hours, and based on average daily usage, will last 10-plus years,” Servin said. “It may take five years at the earliest to payback the 1 percent loan, and up to 10 years at most.”
From the Gilroy City Fall 2014 Newsletter, the energy savings would amount to $163,000 per year, which would be used to repay the loan. Estimated maintenance of these LED lamps would create a savings of $25,000 per year, which would be applied to street maintenance and repair.

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