After making the decision to switch to a more energy-efficient method of street lighting in the spring of 2009, the City of Waukesha, Wis., applied for and received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant money to retrofit 1,200 existing streetlights with a more energy-efficient alternative. Soon thereafter, the city offered interested lighting manufacturers the opportunity to provide sample products, which were installed and monitored for energy savings and overall lighting quality for a period of six months. Ultimately, the city evaluated products from 14 different vendors.

"We had it in the back of our minds that this would function as a perfect stimulus-funded project," explains Katie Jelacic, P.E., project engineer, City of Waukesha. "Our goal was to further expand our commitment to sustainable upgrades that lead to significant cost and energy savings for the City of Waukesha."

After the initial testing period, data was evaluated from every fixture, including the actual wattage used, exact drop in wattage, light measurements, and average lifespan. With superior performance in the areas of energy savings, quality of light and longevity, Cooper Lighting's Lumark RC LED Cobrahead Luminaire emerged as the frontrunner.

Designed for a variety of area and roadway applications, the luminaire features a patented optic system design that allows lumen and energy output to be customized to fulfill the exact needs of the outdoor space, eliminating wasted energy or obtrusive spill light into neighboring areas. According to the manufacturer, this technology provides energy savings between 30% and 75% over standard HID systems while providing 50,000+ hour rated life.

"Replacing outdoor lighting with more energy-efficient options is one of the most practical upgrades a city can make to save energy and reduce costs,” says Mark Eubanks, vice president and general manager at Cooper Lighting.

The City placed an order for 1,200 RC LED Cobrahead Luminaires in October 2010. Taking winter weather into account, public works crews began installation in November with the goal of completion by June 1, 2011.