10 Eco-Friendly LED Streetlights To Be Tested in Reston in Pilot Project

Oct. 14, 2009
OPA 189/09

News Highlights  

  • 10 eco-friendly LED streetlights to be installed in Reston Demonstration Lighting Area in a pilot project to be studied for possible future use.
  • Compared to conventional lights, LEDs consume less energy, require less maintenance and don’t contain toxic chemicals.

More Information 

LED streetlight
LED Streetlight

As part of a pilot project, 10 energy-saving LED streetlights will be installed in Reston this month. Fairfax County officials are studying these lights because they may save money compared to conventional streetlights and are more environmentally friendly.

The lights will be placed on Bluemont Way between Library Street and the Reston Parkway. The LEDs will replace 10 metal halide lights in this location, which is within the Reston Demonstration Lighting Area. This location was identified through consultation between the Hunter Mill Outdoor Lighting Task Force and the county.

“Streetlights are very important to the community and the county,” said Hunter Mill District Supervisor Catherine Hudgins. “LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, offer several potential benefits: they consume less energy, last longer and don’t contain toxic materials that present a disposal hazard.  I am excited that Reston Town Center can take part in helping the county realize a more environmentally friendly, potential long-term savings.”

An LED produces a 30 percent energy savings compared to a metal halide light. Per month, 10 LEDs use 730 kilowatts of energy versus 1,058 kilowatts for the same number of metal halide lights. However, officials believe that reduced maintenance costs may be the LED’s biggest selling point. These bulbs have an estimated 8 to 10 year lifespan, whereas conventional bulbs typically only last 4 to 6 years.

LEDs also don’t contain mercury or lead, the toxic metals found in conventional streetlights. This means LEDs can be easily recycled.

Because LEDs emit more focused light, they provide more uniform lighting, reducing dark spots and glare. LEDs also produce a consistent amount of light during their lifetime; conventional streetlights grow dimmer by 30 percent as they age. Furthermore, LEDs produce light instantly without the gradual warm-up required by traditional streetlights.

These eco-friendly lights produce a white light, similar to the metal halide lights that are being used within Reston’s demonstration area. However, LEDs produce a softer light without the metalic tinge thrown off by metal halide streetlights.

The county is partnering with Dominion Power on this pilot project. Under the agreement, Fairfax County buys the lights and pays for the energy used. Dominion pays for their installation and maintenance. The pilot runs through the end of July 2010. Dominion will share its data with the county.

In addition to this pilot, LED lights also are being tested at the Virginia Railway Express parking lot in Burke Centre. Solar-powered LEDs are being evaluated at 10 Connector bus stops across the county.

In May 2008, the Board of Supervisors voted to increase the maximum number of streetlights in the Reston Demonstration Lighting Project to 350 units. The board also voted to evaluate LED streetlights and establish LED pilot projects in the county.

For more information, contact the Hunter Mill District Office at 703-478-0283, TTY 711.


Get News. Get Information. Get Fairfax County.Contact: Merni Fitzgerald, Director, Office of Public Affairs
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