OREANDA-NEWS. June 22, 2012. The Whanganui River is New Zealands third longest river and holds special significance in Mori culture. At the mouth of the river is Wanganui, an area renowned for culture, heritage, the Wanganui National Park and river adventures. The rich history of Wanganui is displayed throughout the city center in its beautifully conserved heritage buildings and tree-lined avenues. One of the few road bridges across the Whanganui River is the Wanganui City Bridge.

The Wanganui District Council embarked on a trial of different LED light sources as an alternative to conventional technology used for the Wanganui City Bridge. Besides improved illumination for this key roadway, the district council aimed to explore alternatives that would conserve precious energy resources.

With the aim of providing the same light levels on the ground while offering adequate savings to justify the replacement of the conventional light sources, Evolve NZ Ltd, an engineering firm in Sydney, provided the district council with a solution using GEs 80W R150 LED lamps. The fittings have the backing of a local supplier in New Zealand and the support of GE Lighting.

Today, the Wanganui City Bridge sports a refreshing new look at night as a result of the new GE LED luminaires. The 14 new fittings on the bridge will save the Wanganui District Council up to NZD 9,000 (USD 7.4K) over the life of the fittings in terms of reduced power and maintenance costs. This translates into a payback period of 6.2 years.

GEs LED fittings are a better choice compared to the Wanganui City Bridges existing Sodium Lights, as they offer the following benefits:

Energy savings: from 165-watts to 80-watts: Each LED fitting consumes only 80 watts of power (less than the amount of power consumed by a 100-watt bulb in your home). There is a 52 percent power saving from the previous Sodium Light fittings. The new luminaires direct the light to where it is needed while reducing the glare from the fitting to less than 5 percent. There is no wasted upward light leakage from the new fittings.
Reduced maintenance: LEDs have a longer life than Sodium Lights and can last between 12 to 15 years. Over the same period, the existing Sodium fittings would have to be changed 3 to 4 times.
Improved light output: White light, produced by the installed LEDs, makes driving at night a pleasure. Colors are rendered more accurately, so drivers can see more clearly while behind the wheel. Security cameras also become more effective with the improved color rendition.

Mr. John Birks, General Manager of Evolve NZ Ltd, described the result in providing a far more natural environment, where people report feeling safer. The white LED light makes for a more modern and vibrant atmosphere in the night space, where it is easier to see the real colors of life. We are expecting that this type of lighting will bring more people out to enjoy the city where we live.

Councilor Ray Stevens, Chair of the Infrastructure and Property Committee of Wanganui District Council added, There are clearly a range of potential benefits and savings for the public. The public will notice that the new LED light fittings create a white light rather than an orange glow from the Sodium Lights which were previously installed.

The Wanganui District Council will progressively replace conventional fittings with LED light sources when these fittings reach end of life.