The Las Vegas lighting project was opened to public bid in late 2010 and allowed for all types of illumination technologies. Design Concepts, Inc. (DCI), GE Lighting's authorized Las Vegas representative agency, met with city officials to tout the advantages of an LED solution. Among many different competitors and technology offerings, GE was selected as one of five finalists to participate in an extended trial that concluded in March 2011.
“This was a long and rigorous testing and qualifying process,” explains Bob King, president and CEO of DCI. “The city conducted a thorough study in cooperation with a local engineering consulting firm familiar with the city's roadway lighting requirements as set forth by the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) of Southern Nevada. Ultimately, the decision fell to a team of lighting experts who meticulously analyzed performance, construction, engineered design characteristics, aesthetics and long-term value.”
In April 2011, GE was awarded the contract for the first 6,600 fixtures. In early 2012, the city proceeded with phase two of the lighting update with an additional 35,000 fixtures. The complete project represents the largest roadway lighting contract in GE Lighting's history.
Lowering expenses with LEDs
Nearly 6,600 GE Evolve™ LED Roadway fixtures have already replaced mercury vapor and high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights on arterial streets and residential thoroughfares throughout Las Vegas. As a result, the city will consume approximately 2.2 million fewer kWhs this year, equating to $175,000 in energy savings.
This spring, Las Vegas will launch the second phase of its street lighting update, installing 35,000 additional Evolve LED Roadway fixtures over the next 12 months. Stage-two utility savings alone will exceed $1.5 million a year by diminishing electricity use by more than 18 million kWhs.
GE and DCI further engaged the city's maintenance and energy management teams in discussions that produced an NV Energy utility rebate, while Crescent Electric coordinated a recycling program for Las Vegas' old HPS fixtures that will provide the city a direct credit that will be applied to the purchase of the new LED lights.
Results & Benefits
By transitioning to more than 41,000 GE Evolve LED Roadway fixtures over the next year, Las Vegas will remove more than 12,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from its atmosphere annually. This is equivalent to eliminating the CO2 emissions of more than 2,300 passenger cars or to planting more than 3,200 acres of trees.
"Las Vegas has a strong commitment to the environment, and we are recognized internationally for our green initiatives," says Las Vegas City Manager Elizabeth N. Fretwell. "People who don't live in Southern Nevada may not think of Las Vegas when they talk about the environment and energy efficiency, but the truth is our city is a leader in these areas."
Upon project completion, more than 80 percent of Las Vegas' 50,000 streetlights will be powered by GE fixtures. And while previous streetlights lasted about four years on average, GE's new Evolve Roadway LEDs have a longer life estimated at more than 11 years based on 12 hours use per day—significantly extending the time between maintenance cycles. The city calculates this will yield an additional $1 million cost benefit, bringing combined annual energy and maintenance savings to $2.7 million. The bright white light produced by the LED light source further improves visibility on streets.