News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Wallingford gets its new LED streetlights

October 28th, 2010 · 11 Comments

Updated October 30: Seattle City Light spokesperson Mike Eagan told us that by Nov. 7, all the streetlights in the city south of 65th will have been replaced with LEDs. “There are some exceptions where additional electrical work was needed, more than just replacing the fixtures,” he said. “The city north of 65th will be done next year.”

Original post:

We’re seeing the streets of Wallingford in a whole new light lately — literally. This week our block got a makeover when Seattle City Light installed new LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights that cast an immediately noticeable brighter, whiter glow in front of our house.

The Wallingford installations are part of a citywide upgrade to LEDs that began this summer. A July 2010 press release about the new streetlights explained their benefits:

“We are entering a new era in street lighting,” Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said. “LEDs use 40 percent less energy and last three times longer than the high-pressure sodium lights that have been the standard for the past 30 years. That means better reliability, less maintenance, a longer life cycle, and lower operating costs for our customers.”

City Light will install 5,000 LED streetlights in residential neighborhoods this year and a total of 40,000 during the next five years. The 2010 installations will take place from the Ship Canal to 65th Street. The utility also started pilot projects to test LED streetlights on arterial roads.

The LEDs being installed generate a white light that is comparable to moonlight. This enhances peripheral vision and depth of field, making it easier to see small objects in the road and reducing the color distortion caused by the amber glow of existing high-pressure sodium lights. Finally, the LEDs provide better control over where the light is directed, reducing spillover into home windows and the night sky.

Here’s a demonstration of the difference between the old high-pressure sodium lights and LED ones:

If your street has gotten its new LED lights, what do you think of them?

(Photo courtesy Seattle City Light)