Semoran Boulevard (S.R. 436) before (left) and after OUC retrofitted overhead lights with LED fixtures

Nine years and nearly 30,000 LED lights later, OUC – The Reliable One has completed a massive street lighting-upgrade project that has improved nighttime visibility and substantially reduced the amount of energy needed to power the overhead fixtures.

The LED Roadway Lighting Project replaced 29,618 high-pressure sodium (HPS) bulbs with light emitting diode (LED) lights on poles with “cobra head” fixtures located in the cities of Orlando and St. Cloud, and parts of Orange and Osceola counties. Many streets that motorists and pedestrians once traversed at night under dim, yellowish lights are now illuminated by the bright, white glow of energy-efficient LEDs, making roads safer.

The project targeted 100-, 250- and 400-watt overhead fixtures on residential streets, four-lane roads and major thoroughfares, respectively. OUC projects that the switch to LEDs will reduce related energy consumption by 14 million kilowatt hours per year, the amount of electricity 13,000 homes would use over the same period. That energy savings translates into 8,400 less tons annually of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power production.

The City of Orlando alone is expected to save $650,000 a year in utility costs for the upgraded lights on its streets.

“These retrofits with LED lighting will boost public safety on streets and conserve energy for decades to come,” said LeMoyne Adams, Vice President of Electric & Water Distribution. “I think it’s fair to say that this is a transformational project.”

OUC originally planned to spend $12.3 million on the LED Roadway Lighting Project, which began in 2013. But lower costs associated with LED technology and lighting installation by OUC’s contractor yielded $3.43 million in savings.

Besides realizing lower electricity costs, jurisdictions that partnered with OUC on the street lighting project will see reduced maintenance expenses because LEDs are longer lasting and more reliable than the bulbs they replaced. The participants also repay OUC over time for the capital cost of the project.