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LED lighting installed on US 98

The Florida Department of Transportation recently installed light emitting diodes (LEDs) near the Gulf Breeze Zoo. The project was part of a local initiative to test the energy-efficient lighting solution. The Navarre Press reports that only nine street lamps were outfitted with LED bulbs - three different bulbs from three different manufacturers so that officials could determine the right brand and units to install.

"We found energy-efficient lighting solutions that would provide the best quality of light for darkened roadways," said Natalie Smith, a Gulf Power spokesperson, according to the news source. "This is a partnership to help make our highways safer for people in our community."

Officials installed the LED bulbs to improve illumination levels along the busy highway. Pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists use the transportation venue on a regular basis.

According to the news source, the state will cover the construction and installation costs for the LED lighting retrofit. The county and the state will share the operational and maintenance costs associated with the lighting solution.

The outdoor luminaries can be used in more scenarios than just street lighting. For example, according to the Edison Electric Institute, Pinelands Business Campus was recently retrofitted with LED lighting, specifically 175W and 250W MH decorative post top luminaries with 40W LEDs.

As a result of the retrofit, the organization has decreased its annual energy use by 201,000kWH, which saved approximately $30,150 a year in energy costs. The Pinelands Business Campus also received a utility incentive of $41,000 for the switch, which meant the company recouped its initial investment in 2.5 years. The environmental impact of the LED lighting switch was a reduction in carbon dioxide production of 114 metric tons a year.