You might start to see new LED lights across Denton later this year.
On Tuesday, Denton Municipal Electric concluded its pilot program for the lights across three streets in the city.
The program, which began Dec. 1, gave people the ability to submit feedback on the new lights through an online survey, and had streetlights installed with the new LED attachments on parts of Stuart Road, Bell Avenue and Sherman Drive.
Although the survey is now closed, people still can stop by the sections of road and see what’s in store in the coming months.
Beyond being far more energy efficient, the city’s new LED lights are projected to last about 50,000 hours, compared to the 20,000 hours the current high pressure sodium lights last.
The installation of LED lights across DME’s coverage area has been in the first stages of research for a couple of years, said Jerry Fielder, division engineering manager of distribution for electric company.
An up-to-two-year study on the DME campus ended roughly a year ago, at which point researchers narrowed the list of possible vendors until one remained.
To that point, it was a numbers game: wattage, energy efficiency, cost, lumen output and more, Fielder said.
Along each stretch of road used for the pilot program, three light levels — low, medium and high — of the same LED were installed and marked for passersby to see.
Fielder estimates residential streets will be installed with 100-watt lights, larger thoroughfares likely will have 250W and the largest roadways probably will have 400W lights.
DME anticipates in the event one of the LED modules burns out or malfunctions, it will be easier to replace the entire streetlight head.
“The cost of crew time and materials associated with changing only a single [LED] module appears to cost more than replacement of the entire head — which can be done rather quickly,” Fielder said.
Fielder said Denton currently has just less than 8,000 streetlights, but DME plans to purchase extra replacement LED heads to be prepared for new construction.
He’s not yet sure what the total cost of purchasing and installing the lights will amount to.
Fielder said DME will take its proposal to the Denton City Council in April, at which point it will seek final approval on implementation. Until that point, the utility company will have its hands full sorting through survey input.