Drivers throughout the province can expect to see a different hue to their commutes, as SaskPower is swapping bulbs and fixtures in street lights.
They might get a better sleep, too, and their power bills won’t take a hit.
SaskPower is opting for LED bulbs, changing out the high-pressure sodium vapour bulbs that it’s used since the 1980s.
Joel Cherry said the change-over is part of the Crown corporation’s 10-year plan to replace all street lights in the province with LED bulbs; he noted it only requires changing the light fixture and bulb, not the entire light pole.
The new lights won’t affect ratepayers’ monthly power bills, Cherry said. In fact, he estimated the company will save about $8.9 million over the next twenty years due to the reduced use of power.
He said people might see those savings reflected in their power bills.
The LEDs should last about 20 years, using 40 to 60 per cent less power than the current sodium vapour bulbs. They’ll also give a warmer hue of light, which Cherry said is easier on people’s eyes.
He added it could also be less disruptive to people’s sleep patterns in residential areas, because the LEDs will mimic natural light.
SaskPower plans to change about 8,000 street lights by March in parts of Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Battlefords, Yorkton, Weyburn, Estevan, Moose Jaw, Candle Lake, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake, Kenosee Lake, Rowan’s Ravine, Cypress Hills, Waskesiu, Humboldt, Martensville, Meadow Lake, Melfort, Melville and Warman.
By the end of fiscal 2019-20, Cherry said the utility provider plans to change an additional 8,800 lights in parts of Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Lloydminster and Black Lake.
In each community, SaskPower will use bulbs with different lumen outputs, depending on the type of area — residential, downtown, industrial or rural.
“The higher lumen lighting is typically on the heavy traffic corridors, while lower lumen lighting will be on narrow residential streets,” Cherry said.