Acuity Brands has announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and utility Gulf Power have installed close to 1000 LED luminaires from the American Electric Lighting business unit along a 19-mile stretch of highway in Santa Rosa County. The utility in Manchester, New Hampshire is recommending against a solid-state lighting retrofit of high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting, while a utility in Cedar Falls, Iowa is pushing such a project. Mississauga, Canada is nearing the halfway point of a 50,000-light project and has documented 55% savings.
The Santa Rosa County, Florida project involved lighting a previously unlit section of Highway 98, the main thoroughfare that traces the gulf coast in the Florida panhandle. The installation was in the western part of the panhandle near Pensacola, and was needed to improve safety. Still, cost concerns could have derailed the project.
One key factor in making the project affordable was reuse of existing wooden utility poles that carry power distribution wiring. Installing new poles actually outweighs the cost of new fixtures, even in the case of relatively expensive LED-based products. But the existing poles were spaced irregularly and even mounting heights would have to vary over the length of the project.