There are LED retrofit streetlights that use the existing housings and are UL approved. They use 78% less energy than the HID options and last 4 times longer, about 12 years at 12 hr/day. Leona Smith introduced them to WAPA in April of 2009. They were pending UL approval at that time and have since been approved.
Street lighting is an excellent application for LED’s. Changing HID bulbs requires a diesel bucket truck and an electrician just to change a bulb, not to mention a ballast failing about every 8 years or so. LED’s can also be dimmed, saving even more money and they require no warm up time and are unaffected by on off cycling. Customer perception is the main problem with them. People tend to buy the cheapest LED they can find and end up with a piece of junk. If they would have bought a quality product they would have been very pleased with the result. Properly designed LED panels with massive heat sinks don’t fail; they slowly dim to 70% of the initial output over the 12 years period. They can continue to operate for years longer at a reduced lumen output so there is never a rush to change a burned out bulb. The drivers accept 100V-277V input and step down to 24 volts for the LED’s.
CFL’s contain mercury and don’t last nearly as long as advertised if mounted upside down, the rising heat cooks them, but they are inexpensive. The main complaint is the CRI (color rendering index); they turn everything a greenish color and are not dimmable.
T8 fluorescents are an excellent choice for supermarkets and stores in general, they are inexpensive and energy efficient but have a short life span when compared to LED, especially if cycled on and off, and they also consume more energy.
Electricity is very expensive on St John hence the lack of lighting in public areas. If St John is going to replace street lights they should follow the “dark sky protocols” and not spray light all over the place. It should be directed at the ground with full side closures so as not to shine in your eyes and bleach out the stars at night.
The fastest return on investment in LED’s is where the electricity cost the most. The Caribbean.