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Downtown_at_night_350The Town of Chapel Hill will begin converting about 2,000 public lights on major streets to energy efficient, light emitting diode (LED) fixtures. Duke Energy crews

The replacement will result in substantial energy cost savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The long lifespan of LED fixtures will yield reduced maintenance and repair costs. LED street lights can last for decades before needing replacement.


Installation on Major Streets  

The Town Council has not yet authorized changing lights on residential streets that have decorative street light poles. Many neighborhoods in Chapel Hill have decorative street lights, and these will not be replaced with LEDs at this time.

Consistent with guidance from the American Medical Association and International Dark Sky Association—and with a balance towards energy efficiency, carbon reduction and safety—the Town has selected 3000 Kelvin LED lights. Although they are slightly less efficient, the 3000 Kelvin lights are warmer and appear less bright than the typical 4000 Kelvin LED street light.

The new LED fixtures use a uniformly dispersed warm white color and may appear brighter compared to the existing yellow, unevenly dispersed high pressure sodium lights.


Addressing Climate Change

One of several initiatives to help achieve the Town of Chapel Hill’s goals to address climate change, the project will replace existing high-pressure sodium, mercury vapor, and metal halide street light fixtures with new LED fixtures.

In addition to energy savings, converting to LED lights improves illumination, enhancing safety. And, they require far less maintenance. LED lamps tend to last longer than conventional lighting and do not require regular replacements like the existing bulbs. 

Chapel Hill is working to become a more sustainable and resilient community. This includes the Council’s commitment to uphold the Paris Agreement by reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% by 2025. For more information about what the Town is doing and how you can help, visit 


More Information

For more information, contact John Richardson, community resilience officer, at  or 919-969-5075; or Kumar Neppalli, traffic engineering manager, at or 919-969-5093.

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