46th Street Pilot Lighting Project

By robb, January 28, 2010 1:56 pm

Updated January 6, 2014

Project Results

The 46th Street Pilot Lighting project has been operational for almost 4 years.  We received a grant from the Local Road Research Board to help evaluate the impacts of the project using several measures:

*  Energy Use: The LED and induction lights are using 50% to 75% less energy than the standard high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights.

*  Installation costs: On average, the induction lights cost $450 more per light than standard HPS lights.  The acorn-style LEDs had a $750 cost premium and the shoebox-style LEDs a $1,050 premium.  This project found a large price variation among manufactures.

* Operating costs: The induction and LED lights save, on average, around $65 to $72 per year.  About 80% of cost savings from the efficient streetlights comes from reduced maintenance costs (not replacing the lights as frequently) and 20% from energy savings.

*  Payback: Estimated payback for the induction lights ranged from 2.9 to 9.5 years.  Estimated payback for the LED lights ranged from 2.6 to 21 years for acorn-style and 5.3 to 24 years for shoebox-style lights.  In general, streetlights with higher cost (and longer paybacks) tended to have better light quality.

*  Light output levels: Induction lights experienced a slight degradation in light output levels during cold temperatures.  LED light output levels varied greatly among manufacturers.

*  Maintenance: One LED and one induction light failed.  One LED light was damaged in an accident.


The 46th Street Pilot Lighting project is the first major investment funded under Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works. In early 2010, the City installed 55 street lights on 46th Street between 34th and 46th Avenues. The result is a corridor with much improved lighting for walkers, bikers, transit users, and drivers and better connections to the LRT station and neighborhoods.

The 46th Street Pilot Lighting Project came about from comments from the public outreach process for the Minnehaha-Hiawatha Community Works project. Area residents brought up a variety of ideas to improve the Minnehaha-Hiawatha corridor, including better lighting and increased safety, better connections to the LRT stations, and a more sustainable community.

In response, Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis worked with the Longfellow Community Council and Standish-Ericsson Neighborhood Association on a project to improve walking, biking, and driving along 46th Street connecting to the LRT station. The Hennepin County Board and City of Minneapolis approved this project, which was installed with no assessments to nearby property owners.

An exciting part of this project is a test of two energy-efficient lighting technologies: LED (light-emitting diode) on the east side of Hiawatha Avenue and induction on the west side. Both technologies have the potential to reduce energy use and operating costs while benefiting the environment.  Through long-term tracking of energy use, maintenance and operating costs, emissions reductions, and light quality the project will determine costs and benefits of each technology versus the standard lights.

Project Information

Project Update
LRRB Research Report: 46th Street Pilot Street Lighting Project
LRRB Technical Summary: Field-Testing Energy-Efficient Streetlights
Map:  Lighting Project Location
Figure:  Comparison of Lighting Types
Powerpoint Presentation:  September 2008 Open House
Powerpoint Presentation:  July 2008 Open House

Street Light

Photo by Hennepin County Public Affairs

Street Light

Photo by Hennepin County Public Affairs

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