UFV is working with a local electrical company to install more economic and environmentally friendly city streetlamp bulbs.
Two UFV students from the electronics program have developed a tool that tests the amount of energy streetlights use up — and have been hired by a streetlight retrofitting company before graduating.
Pioneer LED Street Light Inc., in partnership with the Faculty of Applied and Technical Studies, are looking to evaluate current streetlights used in the Fraser Valley as well as source and develop more cost- and energy-efficient LED lights.
According to UFV electronics technician instructor Avner Bachar, the cities of Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack have expressed interest in participating in the project.
“We can save energy there, while still complying with the specifications for street lighting,” he says.
As part of an assignment, UFV students made an initial analysis of light used on Caen Avenue in Chilliwack. Before testing the lights, they were tasked with designing a tool that would monitor the amount of energy and wasted light that a streetlight uses.
“We want to take those lamp lights that are out there now, and quantify how much light we’re putting out there, and we want to gear it down by dimming them,” Bachar says.
They also monitored the usage of light at the UFV Trades and Technology campus parking lot. Pioneer Street Light Inc. took an interest in the potential monitoring of a particular apparatus, and hired the students who developed it.
Dean of the Faculty of Applied and Technical Studies John English says the collaboration between UFV and Pioneer LED Street Light Inc. is another case of post-secondary institutions basing programming in the communities they reside in.
“[This is an] example of how a private company and a university can get together and work on problems,” he says.
Cities that have replaced incandescent lightbulbs with more efficient alternatives like LED lights have overall lower energy consumption. According to the Province of B.C.’s Climate Action Toolkit website, the City of Calgary saves $1.7 million annually after retrofitting 37,000 streetlights from 2002 to 2005.
According to Pioneer LED Street Light Inc.’s website, the total cost of operating one streetlight running on high-pressure sodium lightbulbs for a year is $102.08, whereas the annual operation of a streetlight with an LED light is $14.84.