CARRBORO – Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation has begun evaluating the effectiveness of light emitting diode (LED) street and security lighting as a replacement for current lights in Carrboro.

Existing lights use either mercury vapor (MV) or high pressure sodium (HPS).  A member from Piedmont Electric, Richard Mabbott, says that there a few lights in Anderson Park that they want to use to test different LED lights.

“What we want to do is replace some of those fixtures, about four of those fixtures, the 100 watt high pressure sodiums (HPS), with LED fixtures, and the one 250 watt high pressure sodium in the dog area with a 160 watt LED fixture” Mabbott says.

Replacing some of the existing HPS fixtures located in Anderson Park with LED fixtures will be at no cost to the Town of Carrboro until the evaluation is completed.

While evaluating the lights, Piedmont will monitor for efficiency, reliability, coverage and quality of the light compared to the current ones.  Mabbott says they may put up signs in the park to let people know and to gain feedback from those who use the park.

“There has been some discussion about maybe some signage to inform folks on what’s going on, and solicit their input as it relates to what they think about the quality of light,” Mabbott commentes. “could just try to get feedback from the users of the park.”

LED outdoor and roadway lighting has the potential to reduce energy use by half and reduce our carbon footprint by more than 1,500 tons in carbon emissions.  Mabbott says that although the LED’s will save on energy, there could be higher maintenance costs when finding the right LED fixture.

“Hopefully use about half the energy as the high pressure sodium light (HPS) and would have the effect of reducing the carbon footprint about half.” Mabbott claims. “There’s savings in energy, but the fixtures cost more, and we’re not exactly sure how that’s going to shake out until we determine what a good fixture is.”

This project at Anderson Park is just one of the many test sites around Piedmont’s territory that will help determine what effective LED fixture may be used.