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DanRNC

Raleigh: LED City? Green City?

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There is also an N&O article on Raleigh and LEDs.

I noticed the test the city has been doing the last month or so in its deck on Morgan between Dawson and McDowell. I tried to take pictures, but my camera doesn't do the lighting justice. The "street" level still uses the old lights. Its light has a yellowish tint to it, but that may be due to the fixtures. The LED fixtures are square and made of tightly packed "dots", instead of one bulb, similar to the LED stoplights that popped up a couple of years ago. There are signs in the deck explaining the test and cooperation between the city and Cree.

This is a win-win situation as it is a proof of concept for Cree's products and the city saves on power consumption *and* fixture replacement. Being a city of oaks (old, strong, natural) and LEDs (new, bright, futurisitc) is an example of the contrasting yet complimentary relationships that spring up everywhere around here.

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Its also nice to see that Raleigh is using high tech products developed in this area which kind of bridges the esoteric research that most people don't really care about to useful or essential products that they use everyday. This area has become one of the leading semiconductor research/production hubs in the world and this will only serve as positive PR. Oh yea, its also nice to see the energy reduction and cost savings as well.

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I actually have to park on that deck quite often and lemme tell you, the lights really make the place as nice as it can be for a parking deck.

I can only imange if we fully intergrate LEDs throughout Raleigh, how much the atmosphere may really change. Physical changes to cities do have a significant impact on growth and commerce, and lighting is one area that has not been fully explored here.

Kudos to the Mayor (and assumingly the City Manager's office)!

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I think that this is a fantastic, fantastic plan. Not only from an environmental viewpoint, either. Economically, this could seriously free up some things within our city that may be a little tight. Is this a done deal, though? The N&O seems to be reporting that they'll look into it, while UPI seems to be saying that it's a done deal.

http://www.newsobserver.com/104/story/542634.html

As a result, the city will investigate other opportunities to switch to more efficient lighting over the next 18 months.

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I hope it's a done deal. And I certainly hope that other cities will follow suit

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Now if only we can get Durham & Chapel Hill on board with this. (Is it just me, or do streets there always seem darker than Raleigh?)

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Heard about this on WRAL the other day. I think its a great idea. I personally cant stand the amber glow of typical street lights...Its just too dark and I personally find it unattractive. I've always wondered why the lights are amber and not white, but if the city goes through with this, which I hope they do, and it sounds like they will...then I'll finally get the white lights I've always wanted to see in the city.

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While this project sounds nice and dandy, its still in its trial phase. It is being evaluated if the cost savings of using these lights outweigh the cost to replace them. The lights on that one level were given to the city for publicity reasons to try them.

I haven't seen any results of savings of these lights, though i'm sure they cost less to power than regular high-pressure sodium. However, you don't just replace a bulb when they burn out. You have to replace the whole fixture(this technology isn't cheap) And they don't just burn out, they begin to die one by one. This is bad, considering the lumens put out by these bulbs are considerably less than your typical HPS bulb(safety standpoint). So when a couple of LED's on one lamp begin to burn out, you will be forced to replace the whole housing. This is being looked at yet and hasn't had any results submitted.

IMO this is a publicity stunt for the city w/o providing any results of concrete savings overall. While in the future this technology will be far superior to the norm now, it hasn't been truly evaluated. I give Raleigh credit for stepping up and putting it on the line w/o anything to back it up, even though I question the motives.

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The time between replacements would still be substantially longer. As you said, they're looking at it, because it might be a net gain.

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Here is a PC Magazine blip on LED devices (most of which are pretty useless but make for nice art).

Blip

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From the N&O article:

In December, Durham-based Cree teamed with a Dallas light-fixture manufacturer to light up part of a municipal parking deck in downtown Raleigh as a test case. The city and the Cree partnership spent about $45,000 to install 141 fixtures that have light-emitting diodes. The conversion cut power consumption in the parking garage by 40 percent, Progress Energy said.

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Why they chose a parking deck to perform this test is beyond me. Perhaps because the lighting in that old deck is so drab, they figured it would be a a free upgrade. They should've changed out the whole deck at least so it looks consistent.

The problem with these lights in this deck is that they provide a very direct light. What I mean by this is that directly under them, they are bright. However, as you walk away from them, the foot-candles drops dramatically. They aren't ideal for a parking garage because of this, and require more fixtures to compensate for dark spots. While, these are good intentions, there is a long way to go before the city begins to replace fixtures.

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I was looking over the city council agenda and saw this:

22.2 City Manager

It is recommended that the following transfer be authorized:

Transferred From:

446-8763-72006-975 Parking CIP Reserve $400,000.00

Transferred To:

446-9376-79499-975 Underground Parking Deck $400,000.00

Purpose:

To provide funds to purchase LED lighting fixtures for the underground parking deck.

These will be going into the new deck being built under Fayatteville St next to the new Marriott.

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The founder of Cree was on CNN Money's list of 50 People that Matter Right Now. If the LED does in fact replace the conventional light bulb I should start buying Cree stock now. Analysts have predicted a doubling of this tock in the next couple of years although the price may be a little steep to buy now.

Story

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The problem with these lights in this deck is that they provide a very direct light. What I mean by this is that directly under them, they are bright. However, as you walk away from them, the foot-candles drops dramatically.

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I was looking over the city council agenda and saw this:

22.2 City Manager

It is recommended that the following transfer be authorized:

Transferred From:

446-8763-72006-975 Parking CIP Reserve $400,000.00

Transferred To:

446-9376-79499-975 Underground Parking Deck $400,000.00

Purpose:

To provide funds to purchase LED lighting fixtures for the underground parking deck.

These will be going into the new deck being built under Fayatteville St next to the new Marriott.

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I think this fits pretty well into the LED topic, since we're talking about reducing energy consuption. The city has already signed the Cool Cities effort by US Mayors to endorse reducing greenhouse gases as called for by the Kyoto Protocol. The city has now purchased a hybrid, which gets up to 100mpg. A step in the right direction. :thumbsup:

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Here's an N&O article on Raleigh moving towards becoming a 'green' city.

Raleigh officials have said they plan to make the city's new 15-story public safety center a green building, and the new convention center is expected to be LEED certified when it opens in September.

Meeker also points to the city's use of LED lights in parking garages, and its experimenting with plug-in hybrid vehicles as evidence that Raleigh is headed in the right direction.

I hadn't realized the RCC was going to be LEED certified, but that's a nice step forward. I had expected that the new Lightner Center might be. :thumbsup:

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It isn't directly tied to Raleigh, but this op-ed piece in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman makes the case for going green as an economic engine. It is good to see more justification for LEED certifications, etc. and how ahead of the curve Raleigh is, for now.

There is no reason why the technology/IT/infrastructure for Stockholm's "congestion pricing" could potentially be tapped for North Carolina toll roads. IBM, Cisco, Lenovo, etc. could use such a project as research/proof of concept.

Downtown Raleigh isn't as congested as London, NYC, etc. but it could be used as a labatory as well, monitoring points of entry/exit at Capitol, South Saunders, Edenton, and Hillsborough/Morgan as a starting point.

Also, on New Years day I noticed the city is using Cree's LED lights in the greenway tunnel under South Saunders east of Dix/south of Western-MLK. There aren't any signs about the project like the ones that used to be in the municipal parking deck, but the black boxes with several points of light are caged to prevent vandalism and I think I saw a meter reader to monitor electricity used.

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