Monday, May 16, 2022        

Smithfield Street Light Conversion Program – August, 2021 Update

The Town of Smithfield is now approximately 90% complete the Streetlight Conversion Program.  Any remaining High Pressure Sodium lights remaining on our local streets will be converted before the end of the year.

The Town’s electrical contractor working on street light operation, maintenance and conversion is the Partnership for Rhode Island Streetlight Management (PRISM). 

To contact PRISM to report a Streetlight Issue, click the link below:

Report a Streetlight Issue – Contact PRISM

The Town recently acquired all the streetlights in Smithfield from National Grid and we are now a Customer Owned Utility.  What that means is the Town now owns, operates and maintains the street lights which we have historically been paying to illuminate.  This enables the Town to pay favorable electricity rates and saves the taxpayers money.

Street lighting Guidelines

Generally in the Town of Smithfield Street lighting is provided by the Town to the business and residents of the community.  Street lighting is discretionary and the Town is not obligated to provide street lighting for convenience.  Street lighting is intended to provide roadway safety and security for areas where conditions warrant safe illumination for all modes of transportation. 

Street lighting is to be used judiciously and the Town has taken steps during the conversion program to:

  1. Light intersections, curves, road ends, crosswalks, public spaces and areas requiring visibility
  2. Maintain inventory to only light areas that need to be lit
  3. Provide uniform placement/spacing of streetlights
  4. Provide uniform lighting levels that are not excessively too bright or too dim
  5. Provide inventory consistency to provide easy maintenance
  6. Minimize use of street lights to the extent practicable
  7. Minimize overall product and electrification costs to the end user

Street lights may be installed, relocated or removed upon request to the Town’s Traffic Safety Commission.  Should a business or resident wish to have changes made to the streetlight configuration in Town, please click on the link below to make a written request of the Traffic Safety Commission.

Smithfield Traffic Safety Commission – Street Light Request 

About the Light Conversion Program – General Highlights & Information

Following the completion of the Light PILOT test period in November, 2020, the Town of Smithfield chose to use Cree Traveyo series overhead streetlights, American Electric Lighting subdivision post top replacement units and Howard Large Area Flood Lights for specialized applications.  All light assets were installed with 3,000 Kelvin color temperature, low wattage fixtures that provide for cut-off or full cut-off light distribution to safely and uniformly light to levels suitable for travel.  With the exception of State controlled highways, all local street light assets dim during late overnight hours.  The combination of low wattage fixtures and dimming capabilities further allows the Town to obtain more favorable tariff rate charges complimenting energy savings further.         

During the conversion program Smithfield successfully converted approximately 1,450 overhead lights, 225 post top lights and 20 flood lights throughout the community.  As a result of light reduction, 425 lights were removed from service due to location redundancy, improper spacing and overall lack of need.  These programmatic adjustments as a result of inventory audit, conversion and reduction provide for savings that can energize almost 100 homes for a year and are estimated to save the community almost $250,000 annually on electricity and maintenance costs. 

These energy and cost savings are aimed at moving Smithfield towards becoming a more sustainable community that recognizes the need to reduce climate changing carbon emissions, reduce energy consumption and keep artificial light pollution minimized all while optimizing the rate of return on this significant community investment.

For more program information, please contact the Town Engineer’s Office at 401-233-1041.  Once program audits are complete following the conversion more financial sustainability information will be updated to illustrate program costs, savings, incentives and the long term investment savings.

For additional information, please see the following resources on street lighting:

US Dept. of Energy – Street Lighting Consortium

US Dept. of Energy – Use of Street Lighting

American Medical Association – Lighting Guidance Release

Illumination Engineers Society – Streetlight Conversion

National Grid – Streetlight Portal

PBS Service Announcement

National Geographic Light Education 101

Discovery Channel Education Video on Artificial Light at Night

National Park Service Light Announcement

Why you should care about Good Light at Night

International Dark Sky Association