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West Jordan City Brightens Up

Nov 06, 2015 12:56PM ● Published by Taylor Stevens

By Taylor Stevens

West Jordan - Back in June, the West Jordan City Council approved a plan that would switch the city’s 5,000 streetlights from traditional lights to LED lights: a plan they are currently putting into action with the help of resident input to help finalize fixtures. 

According to the city, the new LED lights will have many benefits for residents’ safety—and potentially their wallets.

According to a recent fact sheet from West Jordan’s Public Works Department, “LEDs improve nighttime visibility and safety through better color rendering, more uniform light distribution and the reduction of some dark areas between poles.” 

Each resident currently pays $1.71 each month in utilities, which is money that goes toward the streetlights. Justin Stoker, deputy public works director for the city, said that the city is anticipating a reduction in the power bill it receives each money from Rocky Mountain Power. From there, the council can decide whether to lower the utility rate for residents or to use the money to add and improve street lights in darker areas of the city. 

As of now, the city is not planning on adding any street lights, but will be replacing the bulbs in the existing poles in order to help save costs.

The money for the new lights will come out of capital from the general fund and bonds, according to Stoker.  

In addition to the positive fiscal and safety impacts, the switch to LED lights will also have a positive impact on the environment, which Stoker said was one of the main attractions behind replacing the bulbs in the first place.  

“We’ve been doing everything that we can to be good stewards of the resources that we have,” Stoker said, citing West Jordan’s commitment to the green waste program and consolidated recycling bins. “This is just another step in that.”

LED lights are smaller than traditional lights and consume substantially less energy. 

The switch to LED lights has a host of environmental benefits. LED lights “save energy costs, reduce carbon emissions and have life spans of approximately 50,000 hours, compared to approximately 20,000 hours of traditional lamps, which are based on technology from the 1970s,” according to the city’s fact sheet. 

Another benefit of the lights is their 10-year warranty, particularly when compared to the approximately four-year light life of traditional bulbs.

The city created a survey to gain input from residents on what types of lights and fixtures they do and do not like, and the city is currently in the process of compiling that information to finalize its selections. 

The next step will be bidding to find an outside contractor to do the replacements on larger streets with overhead power lines. The contractor will work in conjunction with city employees to do the replacements, which Stoker said will likely start in problem areas of the city and work its way outward.

Right now, the city is weighing aesthetic concerns with fixture costs. 

“The administration—both the mayor, council and city manager—are interested in making sure the light fixture that goes into the neighborhood is not only cost-effective, but that it’s an attractive fixture, and we’re going to do something that adds value to the neighborhood,” Stoker said. “We’re excited to provide some better lights, make our neighborhoods a little safer and improve the aesthetics.”                                    λ

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