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Project Profile: LED Lights Replacement Program, City of Portland, Oregon

LED Lights Replacement Program, City of Portland, Oregon

The new LED lights will save about $1.5 million each year in maintenance and energy costs.

Source: Credit to Felicity J. Mackay/Portland Bureau of Transportation

Project Name

City of Portland LED Lights Replacement Program


Portland, Oregon

Project Sponsor / Borrower

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject Finance


Other: Streetlights


The City of Portland replaced 46,700 streetlights from high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights to energy-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures. The project included cobra-head fixtures, the overhead fixtures found on most roadways, especially arterials and residential areas, as well as ornamental streetlights. The City's specifications were based on recommendations from the Illuminating Engineering Society and the Municipal Solid State Lighting Consortium. For the cobra-head conversion, the City specified Leotek ECobra-head fixtures with a 4000 Kelvin (K) correlated color temperature (CCT). For the ornamental streetlights, the City specified Amerlux fixtures with a 3000 K CCT.

The project is expected to reduce maintenance costs and save the City 20 million kilowatt hours of energy each year. LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours or 24 years, versus HPS lights that typically need to be replaced every five years, and the new LEDs can be replaced with no tools in only 15 minutes. At the direction of City Council, future years' savings will be used as a sustainable revenue stream for streetlight maintenance, purchasing green energy, and to finance the next round of upgrades in about 20 years.

Switching to LEDs not only saves money and energy, but also increases safety and visibility. LEDs eliminate dark spots between light poles and significantly reduce wasteful dumps of light directly below the streetlights. They are also designed to reduce the amount of backlighting that spills behind the streetlight pole and onto adjacent properties. In addition, LEDs do not burn out all at once like HPS light bulbs. They come as one electrical unit, so they can be replaced at once, plus improve color rendering by allowing colors to appear more natural at night.


$18.5 million

Funding Sources
  • Energy Trust of Oregon
  • City of Portland City Council – Energy Savings Performance Contract
Project Delivery / Contract Method

DBF, Energy Savings Performance Contract

Private Partner

Energy Trust of Oregon

Project Advisors / Consultants




Duration / Status

In December 2012, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing dollars to the project with construction completion in 2019.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

In December 2012, the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance authorizing $18.5 million from a general obligation bond to the conversion project. The City can expect to save $1.5 million every year in maintenance and energy costs, equating to an eight-year payoff time window. Additionally, the Energy Trust of Oregon contributed $817,490 in incentives and discounted pricing to help pay for conversions.

  • Using LED lighting reduces carbon emissions, energy costs, and maintenance and operation costs. This project will eliminate 10,500 tons of carbon pollution.
  • LED lights will last over four times as long as the lights they are replacing.
  • The LEDs use about have as much energy as the HPS lights.
  • LED lights provide an improved distribution of light, and shed light along the roadway, increasing visibility in dark spots between streetlight poles.
  • LED lights produce a white light that may be perceived as cooler and brighter to the eye, thus allowing colors to appear more natural at night, improving color rendering.
  • LED lights reduce upward light pollution, resulting in a better view of the night sky.
Related Links / Articles

Rian Windsheimer
Region Manager
(503) 731-8456

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