Brighter, energy-efficient lights taking over historic district

It’s not just Broadway where the lights are bright. Now street lights in every neighborhood within the Jacksonville Energy Authority service area will be converted to LED (light-emitting diode) in approximately four years, according to Gerri Boyce, JEA media coordinator.   

Approximately 140,000 street lights are being replaced system-wide, with an estimated cost of $35-40 million. JEA’s territory includes Jacksonville, St John’s County, Orange Park, Atlantic Beach and Baldwin.

In addition to an annual savings of at least $1 million to the city, the new lights will help decrease or prevent crime in neighborhoods and also make it safer for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians at night. LED streetlights provide a uniform white light with a bluish core and, with no need for a reflector, shine light down more directly without shadows for crisper illumination.

Higher wattage high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights (400W, 320W, 250W and 200W) will be completely converted by the end of 2016, including Riverside/Avondale. Following years include the conversion of lower wattage cobra-head and residential post-top style lights.

The decorative acorn lights near the intersection of Park and King Streets will be replaced in December with fixtures identical in appearance.

To date, over 2,300 lights have been replaced on 114 streets in the Riverside Avondale area. “I live on Riverside Avenue and love the new LEDs,” said Boyce.

At a cost of $62 per bulb, the new LED streetlights cost over three times that of the 70-watt HPS street lights. The 100,000-hour average life span of a 40-watt LED light is more than six times that of the sodium light while equivalent in brightness.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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