Syracuse continues to install new LED streetlights

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Parts of the City of Syracuse are looking a little brighter.

The city announced back in June it would begin swapping out old street lights for new LED lights. According to the city, changing over to LED street lights saves energy and money.

When the entire system is converted to LED, it will save over 10.8 million kWh hours per year and over $3 million in annual operating costs. LED lighting is also longer lasting than high-pressure sodium lighting, with a lifespan of approximately 20 years.

The NewsChannel 9 Your Stories Line has been lighting up with questions about the lights. Neighbors in Eastwood are seeing the difference. It’s one of the first parts of the city to have the new lights installed.

To see the map of the progress, click here.

“They are much more directional. They are more focused on the area that we want lit,” said City of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh. “There is much less light being distributed in other parts.”

Syracuse set out a goal to install about 3,000 bulbs a month. Soon, the city will flip the switch to snow removal and the light project will be unplugged until spring.

“We are about 25-30 percent done,” Walsh said. “We are working our way through the neighborhoods, then the main corridors. The last thing we will do is the ornamental street lighting, because that is a little different.”

Here is a list of frequently asked questions neighbors send the City of Syracuse. You can watch the full interview with Mayor Walsh at the bottom of the page.

Why is the City changing out all the street lights?

Changing over to LED street lights saves energy and money. When the entire system is converted to LED, it will save over 10.8 million kWh hours per year and over $3 million in annual operating costs. LED lighting is also longer lasting than high-pressure sodium lighting, with a lifespan of approximately 20 years. This means more lights working, fewer outages, and fewer maintenance visits.

When does the project start?

The project starts July 2019.

When will the streetlight outside my house be replaced?

The installation contractor will start changing lights on the south end of Syracuse by early July, moving northward over the entire city. All the “cobra head” style lights will be changed out first. Then the contractor will return to areas that have decorative lighting, and replace those lights afterward. To see a map of where the crews will be working for the next two weeks, go to syrgov.net and click on the “LED Street Light Project” link.

How long will this project take? Is it going to disrupt traffic?

The project will take six to nine months, depending on weather. Traffic disruptions will occur, but will be temporary and usually minor. The contractor will use one lane at a time, moving from light to light with bucket trucks and two-person crews. Light replacements move along quickly, taking about seven to eight minutes each.

What will the new lights look like?

The old “cobra head” style lights will be replaced with new ones that look more streamlined in design, shown below. In neighborhoods that have decorative lights, the new light fixtures will look identical to or very similar to the old ones. This project replaces the light heads only. Poles and arms will not be replaced unless they are unfit for re-use.

Will the new street lighting look different at night?

The new lighting will be less orange-colored than the old high-pressure sodium lights. All the new LED street lighting throughout the city will be a “warm white” (3000 Kelvin) color, with the exception of interstate lighting. The 3000K color temperature is in line with the American Medical Association’s 2016 guidance and the recommendations of the International Dark-Sky Association. On the interstate highways only, a whiter 4000K color temperature will be used – the same as the color of new LED interstate lighting that NYS Department of Transportation already installed on some portions of the highway.

There’s a problem with the light outside my house. How do I report it?

First, write down the pole number. Then, if your light is a “cobra head” (not decorative) type, look up at the bottom of the light fixture to determine whether it’s an old light or a new one. Old lights will have yellow or blue labels, and new ones will have a white label showing the letters “LED”. Then you can report the issue online using the “SYRCityline” button on the City’s homepage (syrgov.net). Or, you can call Cityline 8am to 5pm weekdays at (315) 448-CITY. Be sure to report the pole number and the light type (old cobra head, LED cobra head, or decorative), along with the nearest street address and the issue with the light.

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For more local news, follow Josh Martin on Twitter @JoshMartinNC9

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