LED street lights to cut 195,000 gallons of diesel

| 04/09/2018 | 55 Comments
LED street lights, Cayman News Service

Power Line Technician Chris Bodden installs LED street lights

(CNS): Grand Cayman’s power provider, CUC, has embarked on a major project, in partnership with the National Roads Authority, to replace the street light bulbs on Grand Cayman with LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). Once complete, there will be a total reduction per year of 195,00 imperial gallons of diesel burnt to keep our roads and pathways lit, cutting CO2 emissions and delivering a saving of around 26% in the street lighting costs billed to customers. The replacement project will take around five years to complete as over 7,000 new lights will be installed. Having started in George Town, CUC said in a release that 2,000 bulbs have already been fitted.

The company said the LED street lamps glow brighter than the existing sodium lights, while cutting light pollution.

Explaining this apparent paradox, a CUC engineer said, “The new LED fixtures provide a better beam angle which helps to channel the light downward and reduce the amount of light pollution taking place. This is known as ‘cutting off light at the horizontal’, this ensures that light is used to illuminate the ground only.”

“CUC has worked closely with the Utility Regulation and Competition Office (OfReg) and the National Roads Authority (NRA) to make this project a reality,” said David Watler, CUC vice president of operations. “The project is underway and customers can now see the difference in lighting along our roads, there are many benefits to using LED lighting. These new lights are more environmentally friendly, reduce light pollution and will result in costs saving to our customers.”

According to CUC, LED street lights consume 70% less energy than conventional high pressure sodium (HPS) lights and have a significantly longer life span leading to lower maintenance costs. Furthermore, LEDs are more efficient because they do not waste large amounts of energy as heat, all of which will help in meeting targets for Cayman’s national energy policy.

CUC said its teams are now working hard to make the transition to the eco-friendly LED street lights as safely and as smoothly as possible.

Addendum: In response to some of the comments, CUC added, “Public street lighting is paid for by the NRA. The same LED lights can be used for security lighting and businesses and residents can obtain from CUC with monthly charges. In both cases, NRA and individual customers have received a cost reduction benefit from the switch to LED lights.”

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Comments (55)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This is in response to 8:58 am, who is frustrated and 8.48am who is irritated by my comments.

    A picture(video) is worth a thousand words.

    Local 12 (Ohio) investigates LED city street lights: A glowing danger.

    New street lights flickering and flashing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAOZxP-ufTY

    Street light flicker is new hazard, says watchdog. FLICKER FROM LED street lights could be becoming a health hazard, the UK government’s official health watchdog for England has warned.

    Are new LED street lights that being installed by CUC flicker-free? What is the Kelvin number of the lights?

    The Importance of Flicker-Free LED Lighting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0msYxnZX2A

  2. Kadafe says:

    So…. We can look forward to an increase to pay for their new lights, and not expect any decrease due to the fuel the new lights will save. Thanks for the heads up, congrats CUC stakeholders tho!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Nobody seems to understand that if you want electricity you have to pay for all the costs. You can make the government pay, or the taxpayers, or the public, or the tourists, or the driftwood, but someone has to pay.

  4. Anonymous says:

    and light bills still going up .. all they are doing is cutting cost for their benefit .. not ours!

    • Anonymous says:

      Try installing power saving items like LED in your house to reduce your consumption and therefore your bill.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, Ofreg is preparing to be just fine with regulating these HIGH costs for consumers. Not to mention the extorting cuc ‘Summer Bill Hikes’ 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    CNS, can you please find out how many lumens will be delivered by the new LED street lights that being installed? Is it over 3000K?

    Below is the information you might want to be aware of.

    Int J Ophthalmol. [International Journal of Ophthalmology] 2017; 10(2): 191–202.
    Published online 2017 Feb 18.
    Light-emitting-diode induced retinal damage and its wavelength dependency in vivo.
    “The rapid development of white light-emitting diode (LED) lighting has raised serious retinal hazard concerns by consumers….
    The study results indicate that LED blue-light exposure poses a great risk of retinal injury in awake, task-oriented rod-dominant animals. The wavelength-dependent effect should be considered carefully when switching to LED lighting applications.”


    Ocular exposure to blue-enriched light has an asymmetric influence on neural activity and spatial attention.https://www.nature.com/articles/srep27754

    • Anonymous says:

      You are quick to google and find articles with titles that confirm your self-bias. Do you even understand their methodology or do you quickly read an abstract and done?

      What you fail to understand is the study you linked involved subjecting rats to intense light for ** 10 days straight **.

      Of course some damage would be done if you held any bright light to your eyes for 10 days straight.

    • Anonymous says:

      I swear this is so frustrating. Bunch of armchair scientists on this site. Your last paper that you linked points to no risks from LEDs but actually highlights a potential benefit, you doofus.

      Taken from the paper’s conclusion:

      . Our results provide the most compelling evidence yet that a direct manipulation
      of non-spatial alertness can modulate activity within spatial attention brain networks.

      That these effects were achieved by manipulating the intensity of blue-enriched light, a non-pharmacological, reversible and ** SAFE ** stimulant, prompts consideration of future research into whether light exposure may have ** therapeutic benefit for
      disorders of spatial attention. **

    • Anonymous says:

      3000k is the frequency or color of the light, not the lumens or intensity. When you start out like that, it’s hard to take you seriously.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Tragedy Of LED Streetlights: They Don’t Need To Be Such A Nuisance. Forbes 13,830 views Apr 29, 2016, 01:10pm

    “The problem with the current rollout of LED lights is that it seems to be executed without any regard for these issues [melatonin suppression, circadian rhythm disruption] or their possible solutions. ”

  7. Anonymous says:

    CNS, do you know if these are just replacement bulbs or complete light units?

    The reason I ask is that most standard street light lenses, difussers and reflectors don’t work very well with LED because it’s a much more intense light source.

  8. Anonymous says:

    This is great news, but it’s also rather poor that CUC is only just getting around to this.

    • Gonna cost us an arm & a left nut says:

      Yes and 20 years ago they would threaten to cut your power off if you installed solar. And when one of their bright young minds was instrumental in installing solar powered lights in their Eastern most parking lot he was told by the then GM to keep it on the DL.
      This is for CUC’s benefit only, just so they can post a big headline later on that they have cut diesel emissions by installing LED streetlights. Saving money for the customer is not their perogative. People are niave to think anything more. Besides, this adds more $ to their asset base so another rate hike will be in order once the project is completed.
      What could be worse, well we could have those OfReg schoolboys steering the CUC boat right back into the 1980’s.

      Look on the bright side if you can see one!

      Pun definitely intended.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I just had one put in my back yard.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Makes no financial sense, but very eco-friendly.
    Guess who will pay?

  11. SSM345 says:

    Awesome! Cant wait for this charge to appear on my next bill going forward!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Are we also adding solar panels to the new setup, or would that just be too much progress at one time?

    • Anonymous says:

      Solar panels do not work in darkness.

    • Anonymous says:

      More likely too much cost. You’d need panels & automatic disconnect switches (to be legal & safe) & batteries (to be off-grid) at each pole. Even ignoring the batteries and just going CORE such small distributed solar power generation would not be cost effective, i.e., it would cost more to run the lights via solar panel than just run them by diesel (or industrial scale solar power generation). – CUC has had solar panels on their parking lot lights for years now. (And a set of show panels in their front yard as well.) They know very well the break-even point on solar lighting installations, etc.

  13. Rick says:

    CUC needs to move away for Diesel and start using LNG which is much cheaper and available from our Caribbean neighbours Ie Trinidad and Venezuela

  14. Anonymous says:

    So do they want praise for something they should have already been doing?

  15. Anonymous says:

    The sad part about this is that Of Reg(Government) will allow them to charge us for the lights and installation..Saves them 195K gallons of fuel but how much do we pay for it?

  16. Don says:

    ‘Saving cost for customers’ on my ass! They will pocket the saving costs themselves!

  17. Anonymous says:

    They will change them and we the customers will still suffer with these high ass electricity Bill’s same way like we are now

  18. Anonymous says:

    Measure seven times, cut once.

    The potential influence of LED lighting on mental illness. Publ.Med. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29251065

    LED street lights can damage eyes and cause sleep problems, health officials warn.

    LED Street Lights Could Be Harmful to Your Health, http://naturalsociety.com/led-street-lights-could-be-harmful-to-health-6187/

    Doctors issue warning about LED streetlights https://www.cnn.com/2016/06/21/health/led-streetlights-ama/index.html

    Are LED street lights a health hazard?
    As residents complain, some cities are reconsidering the bright lights. https://www.mnn.com/family/protection-safety/blogs/are-energy-saving-led-street-lights-hidden-health-hazard

    Some cities are taking another look at LED lighting after AMA warning. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/some-cities-are-taking-another-look-at-led-lighting-after-ama-warning/2016/09/21/98779568-7c3d-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.453d8fdb0131

    The Dark Side of LED Lightbulbs. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/led-lightbulb-concerns/

    • Anonymous says:

      Your first link is about the POTENTIAL effects on people who already HAVE mental illness. Pretty sure you wanted to imply that LEDs cause it. You’re full of it.

      • Anonymous says:

        I recommend reading all the articles rather than just the ones that defend your position.

        “A little more than a year ago, Gloucester, Mass., was on its way to replacing its sodium streetlights with 4000K LEDs. But then city planner Matt Coogan began reading about health and environmental warnings. He also had residents sample the 4000K lights against 3000K models.

        Next month, the city is expected to finish installing its LEDs, but they will be 3000K rather than 4000K.

        Coogan knows the debate over the health risks of LEDs rages on. But he doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of history.

        “I didn’t want to get 10 or 15 years down the road and find out we had exposed our people to a health risk,” Coogan said.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m not familiar with the health issues but the problem they’ve had in the UK is simply that these things are so damn bright they screw up your night vision. Standard lighting has a colour temperature in the 2400K range but white LEDs are 4000K to 5000K with a very high level of short-wavelength blue light. I use some LED lighting in my home but it’s the soft white variety, which is quite subtle whereas the straight white bulbs have a very harsh quality. The other problem with LED lights is flicker, this is very similar to the old fluorescent tube issues.

      I just hope CUC have done all their homework on this because where my brother lives in the UK they installed LED street lighting and about eight months later it all had to taken down and replaced. If that happens here we’ll all end up paying for it.

    • Anonymous says:

      AMA [American Medical Association] Adopts Guidance to Reduce Harm from High Intensity Street Lights.
      Adopted unanimously at the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago on June 14, 2016
      For immediate release: Jun 14, 2016

      “Despite the energy efficiency benefits, some LED lights are harmful when used as street lighting,” …”In addition to its impact on drivers, blue-rich LED streetlights operate at a wavelength that most adversely suppresses melatonin during night. It is estimated that white LED lamps have five times greater impact on circadian sleep rhythms than conventional street lamps.”

      In the statement, the AMA recommends that outdoor lighting at night, especially street lights, should have a color temperature (CT) no greater than 3,000 Kelvin (K).


    • Anonymous says:

      My condo association has decided that safety is a priority and replaced all light bulbs with LED bulbs so bright, that regular blinds and curtains don’t block it. It is on my stairway, in front of the building, every 20 feet or so, and on the back of the building. That is in addition to the street lights.
      It would cost me close to $1000 to install light blocking blinds plus light blocking curtains on top of it, since lights still manage to get in through the window perimeter.

      Few people seem to know about THE FLICKER EFFECT: LED lights can cause massive disruptions in the brain. This brainstem light effect is the most common cause of migraines and vertigo in people with Meniere’s disease and with Transient ischemic attacks (TIA). Bright intense light that is pulsed can cause Bucha’s effect. This phenomenon has been observed during helicopter flight; a Dr. Bucha identified the phenomenon in the 1950’s when called upon to investigate a series of similar and unexplained helicopter crashes. “Flicker vertigo” in a helicopter occurs when the pilot or front passenger looks up through the blades of the main rotor as it turns in the sun causing the light to strobe. The strobe light effect can cause persons who are vulnerable to flicker vertigo to experience symptoms such as:
      Become disoriented and/or nauseated
      Blink rapidly
      Experience rapid eye movements behind closed eyelids
      Lose control of fine motor functions
      Experience muscle rigidity.
      The flicker can cause photosensitive seizures.

    • Anonymous says:

      – posted from either LED screened smart phone or computer.

      Get over yourself fear mongerer, stop hindering progress.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great news. The lighting is much better. However, as this started several months ago it is a bit strange that it is only being reported now.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What about Brac & Little Cayman? Our do we residents continue to be gouged?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Something to applaud.


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