Enter George Woodbury, President of LightSmart Energy Consulting. Woodbury had helped write that legislation allowing municipalities to explore cost-saving alternatives to what the utility provided, and the city enlisted his expertise. He made the case for LED.
With an LED streetlight conversion, Woodbury explains, not only are you facilitating energy and cost savings, “you’re rebranding a community.” An upgrade to LED street lighting, he believes, sends a clear message that the city is striving to improve its quality of life.
The city conducted a trial of LED lighting from five manufacturers along Mosely Avenue. The trial ran for several months and was widely publicized. Input was solicited from the police and fire departments, the department of public safety, the city council and local residents.
The Cree® RSW Series featuring WaveMax® Technology emerged the winner.
“Overall,” says Molly Ettenborough, the city’s Recycling and Energy Manager, “people were happiest with the Cree® lighting because of the temperature of the light and the fact that it was truer to natural light.”
The consensus was that the RSW Series best reflected Newburyport’s quaint character.
“You’re trying to match that personality,” Woodbury stresses. The RSW™ LED street light does so with diffuse, low-glare lighting. “This is the only fixture of its particular design. Others are going to try to copy it, but they haven’t done it yet.”
Moreover, the RSW™ luminaire offers “the flexibility that we needed to use the same fixture for multiple applications. It gave us the simplicity we were looking for.”
And it’s also a very energy-efficient fixture. Over 1,300 HPS street lights were replaced — ranging from 50- to 250-watt — with 30- to 50-watt LED RSW luminaires.
“There was a lot of excitement when our team got together and looked at this product,” Mayor Holaday says. “There was a lot of enthusiasm for it.”
Brian Woodbury, LightSmart’s Vice President of Operations, says: “We’re consultants, so we’re brand agnostic. We obviously have our preferences, but most communities are going to want to see information on multiple manufacturers.
“Historically, Cree has won pretty much every single project based on long-term numbers.” The Green Community program offers grants to its participant municipalities, with a top priority being street light conversion to LED. “We were poised and ready to move ahead with this project,” Holaday says.
The city applied for and received a grant, then gathered some additional funding from the state’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council, for a total of nearly $180,000 in incentives.