WELLAND – About half of Welland’s city streets are now lighted by the glow of LED bulbs.

And the city is already reaping the benefits.

Dave Ferguson, the city’s parking and traffic manager, said the city’s old 70- and 100-watt high-pressure sodium streetlights used a little more than 100,000 kilowatt hours a month.

“Since we’ve installed the LED lights, it’s taken us down to now 24,000 kilowatt hours,” he said at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

That’s currently about $2,200 a month in savings, Ward 3 Coun. Paul Grenier later pointed out.

Having completed the installation of the lower wattage streetlights, Ferguson said Trans-Test Line Contractors is now installing 150-watt light fixtures with the new LEDs manufactured by Appalachian Lighting Systems from Ellwood City, Pa.

The work is continuing seven days a week in the hope of getting all the new lights installed by the end of October.

But there have been a few problems with some of the lights that have being installed since work began in April.

Ferguson said just under 1% of the 4,300 streetlights Trans-Test Line Contractors are installing in the city were damaged when they were struck by lightning while being delivered here. It caused some of the lights to flicker off and on after they were installed.

He said those lights are being replaced under the manufacturer’s warranty.

He said he’s also received some complaints from residents that the streetlights near their homes were too bright. But that problem was quickly addressed because the new light fixtures are adjustable.

Even after the cost of installing the new lights is deducted, the city is estimating the project will still save the city a net $2.4 million over the next 15 years.

Grenier said Welland’s LED streetlight project was attracting much attention at last week’s Association of Municipalities of Ontario conference in Ottawa. He said officials from municipalities across the province were very interested in learning about the project — which when complete will be the first of its kind in North America.

He said the project “is putting Welland on the map.”

Bright idea

  • Welland is currently 4,300 streetlights with new LED fixtures.
  • Next year, the city will be installing 2,400 more lights, replacing decorative light fixtures in the second phase of the project.
  • The project is costing about $4.4 million.
  • Over the next 15 years, energy savings along with reduced maintenance costs will result in a net savings of about $2.4 million, the city estimates.