New York Brightens Central Park With LED Installation

The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) recently completed the installation of nearly 1,600 light-emitting diode (LED) luminaires that light walkways and grassy areas in Central Park. NYC DOT officials estimate the new LED lighting will reduce energy usage by 62 percent and deliver annual maintenance savings of nearly $30,000 compared to metal halide lighting.

The NYC DOT initiated the project in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) GATEWAY demonstration program to improve the park environment for local citizens and visitors and to lower energy and maintenance expenses for the city.

“Located in the heart of Manhattan, Central Park presented a unique lighting challenge,” said James Brodrick, DOE Lighting Program manager. “For walkways in general, it’s important to measure both horizontal and vertical luminance, the former to monitor available light for paths and to determine how much is distributed onto the adjacent grass and the latter to determine whether the illumination is sufficient to identify approaching pedestrians.”

Addressing the challenge head-on, the manufacturer, Spring City Electrical, joined forces with Heatron and Cree, Inc., a manufacturer of silicon carbide based semiconductors, to deliver the new fixtures. The luminaires, which Spring City projects to have an estimated 75,000-hour lifespan, are on existing 9-foot-tall cast-iron posts, about 80 feet apart along Central Park’s paved walking trail.

To see an interactive map and more pictures of the Central Park installation, visit

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