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City of Ouray

 Ouray, CO  Outdoor lighting

The City of Ouray invests in Cree LEDway® streetlights to reduce light pollution and save energy and money.


Nestled within the San Juan Mountain Range, the City of Ouray is known as the “Switzerland of America” and is a destination for those who enjoy outdoor activities year-round. Maintaining the City’s pristine surroundings is a top priority and many environmental initiatives are in place to help preserve the environment for future generations.


One of the programs the City recently completed included replacing all 101 mercury vapor streetlights with Cree® LED lighting. Through the joint efforts of San Miguel Power Association, Inc. (SMPA), The City of Ouray, Tri-State Generation & Transmission, the Governor’s Energy Office, and Cree, Ouray has officially become the first city in the state of Colorado to install all LED streetlights.

“Energy sustainability begins with conservation, and the change to LED streetlights is an ideal opportunity for Ouray to save energy and money,” said Kevin Ritter, SMPA General Manager/CEO.


Initial calculations indicate LEDway® streetlights will slash the City’s energy usage by 50 percent compared to the previous lamps. In addition, LEDway streetlights will deliver reduced maintenance costs with fewer replacements and truck runs, less fuel, and reduced overhead.

Dark Sky compliance was important in moving to LED lighting. “As a former astronomer I understand how important it is to protect the night sky from light pollution,” said Bob Risch, Mayor of Ouray.

“We did a lot of research on various LED fixture manufacturers and it was reputation and rigorous testing protocols that placed Cree on top of our list,” said Mayor Risch. “Residents are very pleased with the minimal light trespass onto their properties and they like the natural color of the light emitted from the new fixtures - it reminds them of moonlight.”

“Ouray was looking for new technology for their streetlights and SMPA had the resources they needed,” explained Gary Miller, SMPA Key Accounts Executive. “In the end, the goal for both of us was to improve the quality of life in Ouray. LEDway streetlights will save substantial amounts of money and energy. And that’s good for us all.”

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