Largest U.S. township converts 50,000 street lights to Cree LED tech

December 12, 2016 // By Julien Happich
The Town of Hempstead, New York is making the switch to LED technology with the conversion of more than 50,000 high-pressure sodium fixtures to LED street lights from Cree (Durham, NC).

The installation is already underway with future phases planned to bring LED lighting to the town’s municipal buildings, parks and marinas. The street light project delivers an anticipated two and a half-year payback with nearly $3 million in annual energy savings and $57 million in total lifetime savings.

Hempstead is located in Nassau County, just east of New York City, and has a population of nearly 800,000, making it larger than some states and U.S. cities. Looking to improve visibility while preserving the historic look of the residential streetscape, the town selected the Cree DPT Series for Decorative Post-Top luminaires.

The DPT Series luminaire delivers a 3000K color temperature and delivers up to 74 percent savings over the earlier, outdated technology. The Cree XSP Series was selected for crisp, clean illumination on major roadways, and Cree OSQ flood luminaires with NanoOptic Precision Delivery Grid optics were installed in parking lots, where precise optical control is needed for improved safety and comfort.

Cree was selected for the project after a test installation on the Sunrise Highway quickly demonstrated impressive annual energy savings of $75,000, about 63 percent over the previous technology for that roadway alone.

Recognizing the overall savings potential, Hempstead officials worked with Best LED Group and Cree to design, assemble and deploy a full package that would provide a better quality light experience throughout the town.

“We had our eyes on LED technology for quite a few years because of the impressive energy savings. However, we had yet to find the ideal package that made economic sense,” said Gary Aue, Town of Hempstead, N.Y. street lighting supervisor. “After reviewing Cree’s options, we saw there was a lot of money to be saved while providing the town with new lighting for a greater sense of comfort and safety that met all our needs, so we proceeded as soon as possible.”

“We’re not stopping until the entire town in converted to