Mill Creek, PUD test LED lights

  • By Katie Murdoch Enterprise editor
  • Tuesday, October 26, 2010 7:24pm

MILL CREEK — The LED streetlights installed around the University Book Store at Mill Creek Town Center are expected to use up to 40 percent less energy and save the city money by lasting longer than conventional bulbs.

Mill Creek and Snohomish County Public Utility District officials are asking residents for feedback about three types of lights included in a demonstration project at the Mill Creek Town Center. Residents can complete an online survey at

In addition to LED lights, the demonstration project also is testing metal halide lamps, which have a whitish-blue tint, and high pressure sodium lights, which emit a yellowish tint.

Public Works director Tom Gathmann said replacing lights is one of the department’s largest budget line items. Replacing a $40 light can cost $300 for labor and time. The current budget has $228,000 allocated for streetlights alone. With LED lights, the city can save by prolonging when bulbs are replaced by up to 10 years.

The lighting demonstration project is funded partially through the Electric Power Research Institute. The survey gauges people’s perception of LED technology, including quality of light, lighting levels and sense of safety.

Mill Creek Town Center was a natural choice for the project as there is a high volume of pedestrian traffic.

“If they’re well received, we’ll do more with LED streetlights,” Gathmann said. “They look better, they last longer and are cost effective.”

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