On Friday, February 22, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) published a press release announcing that it will be replacing highway lighting on US 101 west of Olympia with LED bulbs.
According to the statement, these new fixtures will use a technology known as an "adaptive system," meaning that WSDOT workers will be able to remotely adjust brightness levels and turn off individual light poles. This will make it possible for the state to reduce energy usage and save more than $75,000 in annual maintenance and operating costs.
WSDOT state traffic engineer John Nisbet said in the press release that he anticipates the new light system will be quite a change, noting that it's the first time they've used LED bulbs on a state highway. The lights will likely appear brighter and whiter than the ones people are used to, and it won't be uncommon to see them dimmed or shut off completely during low-traffic times.
"Over the next 22 months, we will look at how the lights function and analyze the cost savings at this location," said Nisbet. "That information will help us build a plan for more LED lights across the state. We have close to 60,000 lights on the state highway system and more LEDs could translate into significant energy and cost savings."
The new installations – which are scheduled to be complete by March 1 – are expected to be fully operational by mid-April.
According to Energy Star, LED bulbs use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent lighting and last 35 to 50 times longer. With this in mind, many homeowners choose to make this upgrade, since it ultimately saves them money over time. If you're interested in learning about how this and other energy-efficient upgrades can help you switch to a more eco-friendly and cost-effective lifestyle, contact a home inspection contractor. They can perform an energy audit and help you determine where to get started.