Tuesday, July 5, 2016

LEDs streetlights to brighten downtown core this summer

The City has finished converting over 30,000 streetlights across Calgary to energy efficient LED lighting. 99 residential neighbourhoods are now being lit up with LEDs from Current, powered by GE, and crews will be replacing streetlights in the downtown core over the summer months. Once the lights have all been installed in central Calgary, the program will be 50% complete. That means over 40,000 LED lights will be illuminating the city.

Calgarians can expect to see lights being replaced in the Beltline, East Village, Chinatown, and the commercial core after the sun goes down throughout the summer and fall. In November, the crews will move back to installing in residential areas.

Why the switch to LED? There are plenty of benefits to using LED streetlights, including:

  • The whiter colour of the light helps make objects appear more clearly.
  • The amount of spilled light is reduced, ensuring light is focused on the roads and sidewalks.
  • Short term and long term reductions in costs, maintenance work, and energy consumption

Roads Director Troy McLeod encourages Calgarians to look for the new lights in their neighbourhoods. “Our new LED lights have made a significant difference in nighttime visibility, and these lights will save Calgarians money in both electricity consumption and lifecycle maintenance.”

In addition to better lighting, the conversion to LEDs will save the City of Calgary over $6 million in annual maintenance costs. Once the program is complete, over 80,000 LED lights will be installed, and energy consumption will be half when compared to the previous lights. That’s the equivalent of taking over 5,500 vehicles off the road.

For more information about LEDs, including details about the warmer light used in residential areas, visit the project page and FAQ.


  1. I like the new street lights. Are they solar charged?

  2. The City’s new LED streetlights are not solar powered, but based on the findings of the streetlights that have been installed so far, there is an energy savings of around 50%. We expect to continue seeing this level of energy savings as we replace the remainder of the lights. When the replacement project is complete, we expect to see potential cost reductions of up to $1 million in maintenance and $5 million in electricity costs.

    Here's an infographic with some more information: http://www.calgary.ca/Transportation/Roads/Documents/Traffic/Traffic-signals-and-streetlights/Streetlighting-Program-Infographic.pdf

    Regarding solar power: The City uses solar power at Southland Leisure Centre, pedestrian crosswalks, and at City office facilities. We also have a long term agreement with ENMAX to supply The City with renewable (wind and solar) electricity – as of 2012, City operations use 100 per cent green electricity, which makes us the largest percentage user of green electricity in North America.