LED Street Light Project

Belmont Light is in the process of converting all of the existing high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights in town to more energy efficient light-emitting diode (LED) street lights. We have compiled some frequently asked questions below to help give you some answers you may be looking for.


FAQs

What is the entire scope of the conversion program?

The goal of this project is to convert all the streetlights in Belmont to LEDs.

 

What is an LED?

A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. 

 

What type of streetlights did the LED streetlights replace?

The majority of the streetlights in Belmont have historically been high pressured sodium (HPS).

 

What benefits are there in an LED conversion?

LEDs last far longer than existing HPS streetlights. The new LED fixtures are rated for approximately 100,000 hours, which is equivalent to 23 years with 12 Hour usage on average. This will result in lower electric usage for the Town, as well as in reduced long term operational and maintenance cost for Belmont Light.

 

What does color temperature mean?

Color temperature of lighting is measured in Kelvin (K) units. Lower Kelvin temperature units are “warmer” and “yellower”; higher Kelvin temperature units are “cooler” and bluer. High pressure sodium lights have a color temperature of approximately 2200K. LED streetlights have color temperatures ranging from 3000K to 6000K. The LED streetlights that are being installed in Belmont are 3000K. 

 

Has the American Medical Association (AMA) raised health concerns about LED streetlights?

In June 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) issued guidance for communities on selecting among LED lighting options to minimize potential harmful human and environmental effects. The streetlights being installed in Belmont meet or exceed the AMA’s recommendations.

 

Will new LED streetlights produce unwanted spill light?

We do not anticipate the new LED streetlights will produce unwanted spill light. However, if a homeowner reports that there is light coming directly into their home from the new LEDs, the homeowner can request Belmont Light to evaluate the light to determine if it fits the criteria to have a shield installed and/or adjust the brightness of the light.

 

How do I report an LED outage or request a house shield?

The LED street lights are equipped with a smart photo eye which will inform Belmont Light if an LED was to go out due to damage or the end of its lifespan. This means that there will likely be no need for customers to inform Belmont Light of a street light outage.  If, however,  you would like to report a street light outage or request a shield to be installed on a street light near your home, please email our customer service at Customer-Service@BelmontLight.com or call 617-993-2800.

 

How did Belmont Light determine street light wattages and brightness levels?

The project largely follows replacing HPS streetlights with LED streetlights that have the same perceived level of brightness as the old lights. Residential streets have lower wattage lights while  main roads and high traffic areas have higher wattage lights.

 

Have the LED streetlights resulted in higher levels of blue light?

It is more likely that the new LED lights have reduced the amount of blue light produced by the town’s streetlights. While the light from 3000K LED lamps contains a higher percentage of blue light than found in the light from HPS lamps, the LED fixtures will produce far less light (more than 50% less) than the HPS fixtures. The light from LED lamps is far more visible to the human eye, so less light is needed to provide visual clarity.

 

What other Massachusetts municipalities have converted streetlights to LED?

Below are some of the cities/towns that have converted over to LEDs so far:

Amherst, Arlington, Bedford, Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Cape Cod (20 towns), Chelmsford, Chelsea, Dartmouth, Fitchburg, Hamilton, Haverhill, Natick, New Bedford, Newton, Randolph, Salem, Sharon, Shirley, Watertown, Weston, Westwood, Winchester, Winthrop, Woburn


Progress Map

The map below shows progress the progress that has been made on our LED street light conversion project.  Streets highlighted in purple have been completed.  Streets not yet highlighted will be converted in the future.


January 2020 Update Video