Many cities in the MARC region now have brighter streets and lower electric bills. Over the past three years, the Smart Lights for Smart Cities initiative installed more than 5,700 high-efficiency street lights in 25 communities in the area. The project, which ended in October, showcased newly-developed streetlight technology — primarily Light Emitting Diode, or LED, lights — in cities in the metropolitan area with populations of less than 35,000.
After installation, KCP&L and a number of participating cities measured the performance of the new street lights, while MARC’s environmental program staff evaluated the lights for air pollution, greenhouse gas emission and waste disposal, using metrics from the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator. The LED street lights demonstrated much lower energy use than conventional high-pressure sodium lights. The city of Pleasant Hill, Mo., calculated an energy savings of 37.7 percent on its new LED lights, as well as an average daily cost savings of 41.8 percent.
MARC used an online forum, town hall meetings in participating communities, and a group discussion with police and public works staff to collect feedback on the lights. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, with brighter light, better color and increased safety cited as benefits.
Participating cities included Basehor, Edwardsville, Fairway, Gardner, Lansing, Merriam, Mission, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Spring Hill, Tonganoxie and Westwood in Kansas and Gladstone, Harrisonville, Kearney, Lawson, Liberty, North Kansas City, Oak Grove, Peculiar, Platte City, Pleasant Hill, Raymore, Raytown and Smithville in Missouri.
Smart Lights for Smart Cities was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation block Grant (EECBG) program.
For more information about Smart Lights for Smart Cities, contact Georgia Nesselrode at 816/701-8207.