LED Streetlights Project

Initiative Type

The City of Abbotsford owns 7,239 streetlights (6,337 cobra head and 902 decorative fixtures on metal poles) and leases approximately 2,780 from BC Hydro (cobra head fixtures on wooden poles). The City owned street lights consume approximately 5 million KWh (average annual power consumed by approximately 464 homes) of energy. To align City streetlight services with Council’s vision, staff retained a lighting consultant to investigate the feasibility of converting the City’s HPS (High Pressure Sodium) streetlights to energy efficient LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology. Based on the fixture wattage, typical road cross sections, road classification and required light levels, the consultant found a net payback of seven years for City owned cobra head streetlights and 38 years for City owned decorative fixtures.

Following the initial assessment report, the City conducted a pilot project and replaced 120 HPS streetlights with LED street lights on local and non-residential roads using various combinations of luminaires and color temperatures. View the LED Streetlight Pilot Project and Before/After Photos. The objective of the pilot study was to gauge customer response to different luminaires and color temperatures and provide a complete recommendation to Council. Overall, the survey responses were generally positive to the new LED streetlights. Many of the survey participants that scored positively towards this initiative identified themselves partaking in an activity (e.g. walking their dog) and using the lights as a tool to help them. 

Based on the energy savings and positive responses from customers to the pilot, Council approved, in late 2019, the conversion of existing Cobra head streetlights from HPS to LED over a four-year span from 2020 to 2023 (2022-2023 budget subject to Council approval). This initiative is estimated to decrease annual energy cost by approximately $385,000 and decrease the associated street light maintenance cost by approximately $128,200. LED fixtures have the added benefit of being recyclable and do not contain the mercury, lead or hazardous chemicals and gases found in other types of streetlight fixtures.

Timeline for Cobra Head Street Light Conversion

The proposed project is scheduled to be implemented in phases over a four-year period, starting in 2020. The first year of the conversion program included conversion of main arterial streets (South Fraser Way, McKee Road, MacLure Road, etc.) to immediately realize the road safety benefits from better light quality of LED street lights. The plans are underway to design and procure fixtures for the remaining phases. View the complete map of the conversion plan.

Timeline for Decorative Street Light Conversion

The conversion of decorative streetlights to LED has a estimated payback period of 38 years (based on consultant assessment). The project is cost prohibitive at this time and will be evaluated by staff for Council consideration at later date. 

Timeline for Leased Hydro Lights Conversion to LED

BC Hydro is planning to start replacing their HPS streetlights (lights on wooden poles) in Abbotsford in early June 2021. All 2,780 leased lights from BC Hydro should be replaced with energy-efficient LEDs by fall 2021.  For further information on the BC Hydro’s Streetlight Replacement Project, please visit BC Hydro’s website.

For further information, please contact:

City Streetlight Conversion Program 
Pardeep Agnihotri, Director, Roads and Facilities Operations
Phone: 604-864-5645 
Email: pagnihotri@abbotsford.ca

BC Hydro Street Light Conversion Program
Lighting Support Line
Phone: 1-833-828-2224
Email: lightingsupport@bchydro.com