Georgia Power to Upgrade Streetlights to LEDs and Slashes Energy Bill for Athens-Clarke County

Georgia Power is working with the Athens-Clarke County Transportation and Public Works Department to convert approximately 4,300 roadway lights in Athens-Clarke County from high-pressure sodium (HPS) to light-emitting diode (LED) technology. The project began the week of May 9 and is expected to take 6-8 weeks to complete. It involves no capital cost to Athens-Clarke County.

The comparison of conventional streetlights and innovative LED lamps. (Photo Courtesy of Athens-Clarke County Unified Government)

Roadway lights maintained by Jackson EMC, Walton EMC, and other entities will not be converted as part of this project.

LED roadway lights offer multiple benefits over traditional HPS lights, including:

    Safety: LEDs provide a broad spectrum of white light, meaning human eyes can better see colors and street signs, bicyclists and pedestrians.
    Quality: LED light is directed to stay more on roadways where needed, eliminates light trespass and is spread more evenly without hot spots and dark areas. The elimination of hot spots and dark areas reduces driver's temporary blindness when pacing through the light, which increases safety.
    Efficiency: LEDs use less energy to produce the same amount of lumen outputand deliver a significantly longer lifespan.
    Durability: The heavy-duty light fixtures have no filaments or electrodes and are shock and vibration resistant, as well as cold- and heat-tolerant.
    Improved Lifespan: LEDs lifespan is 50,000+ hours compared to HPS' lifespan of 30,000 hours. Additionally, LEDs maintain their lumens over time better than conventional light sources.
    Instant Lighting: LEDs have no warm-up or restrike time. They are instantly on or off.
    Environmentally-Friendly: LEDs contain no mercury, lead, toxic chemicals or other known disposal hazards and are 100% recyclable.

Each LED roadway fixture also has a networked lighting control installed. The features of the networked lighting controls include:

    Turn on lights at dusk, turn off lights at dawn
    Metering of energy consumption
    Remote monitoring and diagnostics
    GPS location
    Fixture data
    Dimming/scheduling capabilities

Information about the energy consumption, fixture performance, etc., is captured through the networked lighting control and transmitted to Georgia Power's central management system.

One of the benefits of networked lighting controls is remote monitoring and diagnostics. Georgia Power will know if a light is not working properly and, in most cases, have the light repaired before the customer even notices that the light is out. However, in those instances where a customer does need to report a light out that is maintained by Georgia Power, they can do so by calling Georgia Power Customer Service at 1-888-660-5890 FREE or visiting and clicking on “Report Outages & Maintenance Needs.”

The monthly cost to the Unified Government is expected to stay the same due to an increase in the equipment lease and maintenance charge and a decrease in the regulated energy usage charge.

Georgia Power owns and maintains approximately 400,000 roadway lights for local governments. The company has completed the conversion of more than 100,000 LED roadway lights in areas including Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Conyers, Savannah, and Valdosta.

For more information from Georgia Power about the LED roadway lighting project, visit

The Athens-Clarke County Transportation and Public Works Department provides safe and efficient roadways, bikeways, and walkways; traffic control and guidance systems; and public stormwater collection and conveyance systems.

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