All West Richland streetlights should be retrofitted with environmentally friendly LED lights by early June.
More than 1,000 traditional high-pressure sodium street lights are being replaced with LED lights that should cut electric costs by about 65 percent, or $65,000 per year, according to the Benton Rural Electric Association.
The new LED lighting will be managed with controls called ROAM and a system called adaptive lighting, making West Richland the first U.S. city to use both citywide, said Deanna Hawkins of the Benton REA.
The ROAM technology provides electronic notification of burned out street lights and allows streetlights to be individually programmed, including to ramp light up at dusk and ramp light down at dawn, further reducing power use and increasing the life of the lights.
Cities that use the technology no longer have to depend on residents to notify city hall of burned out lights or send crews out to check the status of lights, Hawkins said.
Adaptive lighting will be used to vary lighting levels to suit activity levels. At times when certain areas, such as industrial areas, are expected to have few motor vehicles or pedestrians, streetlights may be operated at 80 or 90 percent of maximum lighting.
The switch to the LED lighting program also should reduce light pollution.
The city is paying for the $1.15 million project with $195,000 in Bonneville Power Administration and Benton REA rebates and incentives, $281,937 from a Washington State Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency Grant and $673,828 in low-interest loans.
Benton REA anticipates the energy savings will cover the loans in 10 to 12 years.