Melfort receives first LED lights under SaskPower program

By Cam Lee/ CJVR
November 20, 2018 - 9:45am

A SaskPower program has led to some changes in Melfort.

LED lights have been installed in the city, according to spokesperson Joel Cherry.

"We've installed 132 lights (in Melfort) this year, and we've been focusing on the really heavy traffic areas," said Cherry. "So in the case of Melfort, that's Saskatchewan Drive Highway 3, Main Street, and Broadway Avenue North."

Cherry said that those lights will be all they will install in Melfort, for the time being.

"In the long run we're going to be doing them everywhere, but we have 98,000 street lights we maintain in the province and so we're prioritizing them and sort of upgrading them by category," said Cherry.

It's all part of a program that began in October of 2017.

"SaskPower launched a pilot (program) to test LED street lights," Cherry said. "About 1,000 LED's were installed in Regina and 500 in Saskatoon during that pilot period. They were used in a variety of settings - heavy traffic areas, commercial areas, residential subdivisions, and we completed the pilot in 2017, so since then we're starting to roll out the LED streetlights across the province."

Cherry said the new lights have several benefits.

"LED street lights illuminate the same areas as traditional street lights, but they use between 40 and 60 per cent less energy to do it," said Cherry. "The directional light source goes straight down so there's less light pollution in the sky, the lighting is cooler to the touch so it's not hot, you don't have a lot of energy being lost as heat, and generally they have a longer life time, they're going to last almost 20 years."

With the longer life time Cherry believes the SaskPower crews won't have to replace as many bulbs, allowing them to be able to focus on higher priority maintenance work and respond to outages more quickly.

While there won't be an immediate cost saving for municipalities due to the cost of the installation, Cherry said as more lights are converted to LED's over time, SaskPower expects those rates to decrease.

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