March/April 2021 | Vol. 26 No. 2
Knoxville, Tennessee, is routinely ranked among the country’s best places to live, and a chief reason is that the city is continuously growing and changing for the better.
A recent example of this forward thinking in action is the city planners’ recent upgrade to longer-lasting LED street lighting, which involved about 30,000 outdoor lighting fixtures that help the city achieve its sustainability objectives of reducing energy usage and carbon emissions.
Knoxville’s streetlights make up a significant part of the city’s energy use, said Erin Gill, Knoxville’s Chief Policy Officer & Deputy to the Mayor. “That also translated into one of our biggest users when it came to carbon emissions,” Gill said. “As we started our sustainability work plan and started identifying actions the city could take to reduce emissions, streetlights were high on the agenda.”
Choosing the right type of lighting was essential, Gill said.
“An important part of our specification was to choose lighting with a color temperature (CCT) of around 3,000. We were excited when we learned that the Holophane® and AEL® fixtures from Acuity Brands had that 3,000 CCT option for us, and they could offer that option across a whole slew of our lights. Not just the neighborhood scale, but also our commercial lights.”
The lighting project, from specification and scheduling to the final installations, was spread across more than two years. After about a year with the new lighting fixtures in place, the city has realized a $3 million savings on its annual electric bill.
And Brian Blackmon, Knoxville’s Sustainability Director, added, “Doing this project was one of the missing pieces for us to achieve our ‘20 percent by 2020’ emission reduction targets.” ei