Newnan Utilities switching to LED lights
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Travelers along Newnan's Bullsboro Drive may have noticed a slightly different cast to the street lights just east of Greison Trail.
That’s where Newnan Utilities has installed several LED street lights as part of a test program.
LED lights are the way of the future, and Newnan Utilities will eventually switch all of its street lights to the new technology.
LEDs are known for being much more energy-efficient — and therefore cheaper to operate — than standard bulbs. They’re also much more reliable and longer lasting, leading to fewer outages and less maintenance.
The LEDs will use about half the energy that standard lights use, said Dennis McEntire, Newnan Utilities general manager.
With the other lights, the sensors that tell the lights to come on in the evening tend to go out fairly often. “We are continually going out and changing fixtures and repairing them,” McEntire said. If you look, you’ll usually see plenty of street lights that are out at any given time.
“The LED fixtures are a lot more robust,” McEntire said. “They will last years without going out, whereas the other lights may go out after a year or two.”
With the new lights, “we’ll save money in the long run,” McEntire said. But “the major benefit will be our city stays lit more.”
Right now, Newnan Utilities is trying some lights on Bullsboro and some on the road leading to the Hershall B. Norred Water Plant, said Jeff Phillips, senior director of operations for Newnan Utilities.
“What we are doing right now is picking the proper replacement equipment,” Phillips said. There are eight or 10 different types of lights currently in use.
They’re not sure the current ones on Bullsboro are putting out enough light. They’ll soon be trying out a slightly brighter head.
“Once we decide the right ones, we will figure out a long-term schedule” of getting all the old street lights switched to the new LEDs, McEntire said.
“Right now, we anticipate it would take us a couple of years to change out the entire system,” said Phillips.