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Lansing City Street Lights

The Situation

For decades the city streets of Lansing, Michigan have been lit with antique fixtures to preserve the historic look and feel that is sometimes lost with enhancements from new technology. In understanding its responsibility to help the city of Lansing reduce its carbon footprint, and in seeking out the latest advancements in innovative, sustainable technologies, the Lansing Board of Water & Light (LBWL) found a way to give the city of Lansing a makeover using an LED solution that not only shines new light on its streets but also preserves its historical charm by keeping the existing fixtures in place.

The Solution

Working with North American lighting leader OSRAM SYLVANIA, the LBWL found the best solution that would provide the safety benefits of well-lit streets, while preserving Lansing’s historical look and feel. Knowing that the cost of lighting typically accounts for 22 percent of the city’s total electrical consumption, the LBWL saw an opportunity to lower energy costs and consumption by switching to more energy efficient LED lights. With help from OSRAM SYLVANIA, the LBWL determined that the LED Retrofit Kit for Outdoor Area Lighting from OSRAM SYLVANIA was the ideal solution for lighting the downtown streets of Lansing.


Previously, Lansing’s 250 streetlights were lit with either 400 watt high-pressure sodium (HPS) mast arm lights or standard 150 watt HPS decorative style post lamps. Operating on just 40 watts of power, the SYLVANIA LED Retrofit Kit for Outdoor Area Lighting reduced the energy consumption of each light fixture by 110-360 watts. Thanks to the directional light distribution of 66 high brightness, Golden DRAGON® Plus LEDs from OSRAM Opto Semiconductors, the LED Outdoor Area Lighting Retrofit Kit delivers light only where needed, minimizing light to surrounding areas. Street security was also enhanced by creating a better lit, more welcoming atmosphere that people could feel safe in after dark.

Featuring multiple mounting options and a compact power supply, the versatile LED Outdoor Area Lighting Retrofit Kit from SYLVANIA fit into all three differently shaped and sized outdoor fixtures throughout the city, thus allowing Lansing to keep in place their existing light fixtures for the historical feel they sought to maintain. The LED Retrofit Kit also provides well balanced light color that adds to the aesthetic appeal of the city making a dramatic change from the previous HPS lighting.

Green Effect

Since the relamping project began in Lansing in the fall of 2009, LBWL’s install of SYLVANIA LED Retrofit kits has been beneficial for both the city’s bottom line and for the surrounding environment as well. So far, the LBWL has installed nearly 250 Retrofit Kits around the city. Once the relamping is complete (expected in Autumn 2010), it is estimated that the LBWL will save about 270,000 kWh annually, thanks to the reduced energy consumption of LED lights, resulting in $10,000 in energy savings for the city. On top of this figure, the LBWL will see additional savings in maintenance and replacement costs, as LEDs last up to 50,000 hours. The install of mercury-free LED lighting reduces the environmental impact of this harmful substance. Additionally, the LED Retrofit Kit minimizes light pollution to surrounding areas by directing light to only where it is needed.

The Bottom Line

The installation of the LEDs in downtown Lansing represents the first widespread use of LED streetlights in the greater Lansing area. The LBWL owns and operates 34,000 streetlights in Greater Lansing and the organization plans to gradually install additional LED streetlights throughout its service territory.