DENVER (KDVR) — Boulder streetlights will soon be converted to light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, and the city of Boulder is asking for the community’s input on their preferred color temperature.
Boulder is buying 4,500 streetlights that were previously owned by Xcel Energy, saying it’s a money-saving effort as costs have risen over the years.
Of the 5,100 streetlights in Boulder, the city only owned and operated 600. According to the city, the lights owned by Xcel use outdated technology — high-pressure sodium, to be exact — which is less efficient and provides a lower quality light compared to LEDs.
Why is Boulder changing its streetlights?
Boulder estimates it will save over $1 million each year in operational and maintenance costs. Purchasing the lights and converting them to LEDs will cost an estimated $7 million, but over 20 years the city plans to have saved some $13.6 million.
In addition to saving city funds, LED lights use less power, so the conversion can reduce emissions by about 1,000 metric tons of carbon, according to the city, which equates to taking about 254 vehicles off the road.
Streetlights will be more reliable too. The city said the current streetlights do not notify Xcel when a light is out, so lights are not fixed or replaced until someone reports the outage. The conversion will include technology that notifies the city when a light needs repair.
Plus, the better quality of lighting and dimmable features will improve visibility and safety throughout the city.
What is your preferred LED light color temperature?
Boulder’s LED streetlight conversions will begin in 2024. In the meantime, the city is asking the community to share their preferred streetlight color temperature, meaning how warm or cool the light appears.
Sample lights will be available for the community to see the options in person at two locations in the city. Residential street options will be at Spruce Pool, and roadway options will be along 28th Street south of the Iris Avenue intersection.
You can share your input now through Nov. 1 via the online questionnaire on Be Heard Boulder, which is available in both English and Spanish.
With the community’s feedback, the city will then evaluate options considering best practices from other cities.