LED lights installed in Birmingham parking garage

Birmingham plans to launch its first LED
light project this year when it installs the ultra-efficient bulbs in
the Pierce Street Parking Garage.

The city plans to spend
$350,000 switching out the old high-pressure sodium bulbs with LEDs,
starting late this summer and finishing before the winter arrives. The
parking garage has 227 light fixtures that were installed in 1986.

“They’re

pretty close to the end of their useful life,” says Brendan Cousino,
assistant city engineer for Birmingham.

LED lights
use a fraction of the electricity of normal light bulbs because 95
percent of the energy they use creates light the human eye can see. In
comparison, only 50 to 60 percent of energy used by regular bulbs makes
visible light. LEDs also last several years longer than normal street
lights.

The city of Birmingham expects to save $18,000 in
electricity annually, plus thousands more dollars in maintenance costs.
Other Metro Detroit cities are already enjoying similar benefits from
their LED projects, including Pontiac and Auburn Hills. Ann Arbor is
close to being finished with replacing all of its street lights with
LEDs.

Bids for the project are expected to go out midway through
the summer. About $125,000 in federal stimulus funds are helping to pay
for the project.

Source: Brendan Cousino, assistant city
engineer for Birmingham

Writer: Jon Zemke