Next week, the City of Salem will begin upgrading its High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights to more energy-efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. These new lights will save the City about $500,000 a year in operating and maintenance costs according to initial estimates. The new LED lights use roughly 50 percent less energy than HPS lights, are more reliable, and last four times longer. It will take about six months to upgrade all of Salem’s streetlights.
The City worked with Portland General Electric and Salem Electric to determine the best LED street lighting system. EC Electric was contracted to replace the existing HPS lights, and Salem Electric will begin converting lights in West Salem starting this spring.
The City has used HPS lamps to light the streets since the 1970s according to City of Salem Traffic Engineer Kevin Hottman. The LED conversion project is funded by the Streetlight Utility Fee and will cost about $2.1 million.
To ensure the upgrades can happen as quickly and efficiently as possible, current streetlights will not be repaired until they are switched to the improved LED system. The City thanks Salem residents for the patience and understanding.