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City of Syracuse begins converting streetlights to LED lights

By Eric Reinhardt


The City of Syracuse says work has started on changing the city’s current streetlights to LED (light emitting diode) fixtures. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says the new lights and lower maintenance costs will save the City about $3 million per year. (Photo credit: City of Syracuse Twitter page)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh says a contractor has started changing the city’s current streetlights to “more efficient streetlights that deliver better quality lighting” for neighborhoods.

As planned under the City of Syracuse’s acquisition of its citywide streetlight network, crews have started replacing all streetlights in the city with new LED (light emitting diode) lighting fixtures, Walsh’s office said in a Wednesday news release.

Workers will be moving through the city, from south to north, covering all neighborhoods beginning with initial installations this week. They will change about 3,000 lights per month “during good weather.” Work will continue until winter, resume in spring 2020, and finish by the end of the 2020 construction season.

When the replacement work is done, the city will have “better, more consistent lighting city-wide, and will realize significant operational cost savings,” Walsh’s office contends.

“This project is one of the ways we are taking control of our future. With ownership of our street light network, we can reap the benefits of energy saving LED lights. The new lights and lower maintenance costs are expected to save about $3 million a year, more than covering the cost of the acquisition,” Walsh said. “Even better, the lights will deliver better quality, more reliable lighting for neighborhoods. This will mean more lights working, fewer outages, and fewer maintenance visits.”

All of the “cobra head” style lights will be changed out first. Then the contractor will return to areas that have decorative lighting, and replace those lights afterward.

More information and frequently asked questions on the street light conversion are available at The link includes a map of where crews will be working during the next two weeks. It will be updated throughout the course of the project.

The Syracuse Common Council approved the $38 million purchase and conversion of the city’s streetlight network in mid-2018. In addition to the changeover to more efficient lighting, the poles will be used to install sensors that will deliver “Smart City” technologies for the city. Working in partnership with the New York Power Authority and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Syracuse has been named New York State’s flagship Smart City, Walsh’s office said.

“The streetlight acquisition is an important part of the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy,” said Walsh. “Better lighting will lead to safer streets and more enjoyable communities. The streetlight system provides the backbone for a citywide “Smart City” technology network that will help us improve services, operate more efficiently and build a stronger economy.”

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