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Town of Hempstead

 Hempstead, NY  Outdoor lighting

The nation’s largest township is converting about 50,000 HPS street lights to LED, and realizing the benefits — making the switch for all lighting an easy one.


The Town of Hempstead isn’t the proverbial “one-flashing-stoplight” variety. In fact, it’s the nation’s largest township.

Located in Nassau County, just east of New York City, Hempstead Town boasts a population of nearly 800,000. It’s larger than several States and major U.S. cities.

It’s a town of over 50,000 street lights.

Maintaining those lights takes time and money. Burned-out street lights create safety issues. Then there’s the cost: With its existing lighting, the town spent $4.9 million a year in energy costs and far too much in maintenance. Supervisor Anthony J. Santino and his administration were looking for a more cost-effective and energy efficient solution.

When Gary Aue, the town’s Street Lighting Supervisor considered LED Lighting to meet this initiative, he found that the technology and energy savings made economic sense.

And Cree delivered: Those 50,000 lights are being converted to Cree® LED Street luminaires. The next phases of this upgrade will bring LED lighting to municipal buildings, parks and marinas.


Cree, a Durham, NC-based worldwide LED manufacturer, has provided Hempstead with lighting solutions that fully meet the needs of the municipality while lowering the budget – one that is expected to bring nearly $3 million dollars in energy cost savings, while eliminating virtually all maintenance costs.

Aue says he and his colleagues met with several manufacturers, observing demonstrations and discussing warranties. Cree rose to the top, he says, as a company that had been around for a while and was well respected. That piece of mind was a big factor.

And, equally important, Aue says, Cree was the only company to offer a standard 10-year warranty.

Steve Cotsalas, President of Best LED Group, whom the town contracted to bring the project together, adds that municipal governments recognize that their constituents generally appreciate it when contracts are signed with companies that offer domestically manufactured products. The Cree® LED Lighting selected, Cotsalas affirms, was “made in the USA, vertically integrated here from chip through to the paint finish.”


The town was spending almost $5 million a year for street and parking lot lighting. Now, Cotsalas says, Hempstead has all new luminaires, zero maintenance costs, 60% reduction on their utility bill and is cash flow positive a million dollars annually even with the bank payment.” To sum it up...better lighting.

“Saving taxpayer dollars through the use of environmentally-friendly technology is a win-win for the town and residents,” says Supervisor Santino. “The new LED luminaires generate significant energy savings that provide unprecedented environmental and fiscal benefits to our town and residents.”

Furthermore, Cree® LED lighting creates a heightened sense of security when going out after dark to walk or run or sending the kids out to play.

Business owners appreciate the improved lighting in front of their establishments. And Cree LED street lighting paves the way for a safer driving experience.

“Due to this success of our street lighting upgrade to LED technology,” Supervisor Santino says, “the Town of Hempstead will soon convert an additional 4,000 indoor luminaires, yielding further savings to taxpayers of $200,000 over ten years.

“We’re not stopping until the entire town is converted to LED Lighting,” Aue says.

Cotsalas and the Best LED Group are also installing Cree lighting in other Long Island towns. Perhaps one day soon, the whole island will be illuminated with Cree LED Lighting. Cotsalas doesn’t see why not: “Superior lighting, 10 year standard warranty, zero maintenance, reduced carbon footprint & 60% energy savings make this a very compelling project for all municipalities.”

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