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City Moving Toward LED Street Light Bulbs
By Catherine Stortz Ripley
February 19, 2016

Chillicothe Municipal Utilities has installed LED bulbs in six street lights along Fairway Drive, between Washington and Country Club Drive. The LED bulbs are being used rather than the traditional 100-watt high pressure sodium lights which are found along Chillicothe's other side streets. The LED lights on Fairway are from six different manufacturers, and CMU is in the process of researching which product provides the best light for the best price, according to Matt Hopper, electric superintendent. CMU used a lumen meter to measure the light output. "Right now, we are evaluating the manufacturing data on warranty and price to determine which light to go with," Hopper said.

CMU plans to eventually replace all of the 1,200 lights that light up all of the streets in town, with the exception of the lights along Washington Street. LED lights require less maintenance, have better light output and last longer, Hopper said. LED lights are also more efficient, using about 50 watts. The current 100-watt high pressure sodium bulbs are susceptible to birds nesting in them and bulb failures. LED lights would improve efficiency because CMU crews would make fewer visits to the poles to replace bulbs. The LED lights have a blueish/white hue to them; whereas, the high sodium bulbs cast a more yellow tint.

The replacement process will be gradual as CMU will use the remaining high sodium bulbs they currently have in stock until that supply is depleted. The department will transition to LED lights as the older bulbs need replacement. Hopper anticipates a manufacturer will be selected within the next few months.

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