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Smart Chip Lighting Technology – Supporting the Cities of the Future


The cities of today are inhabited by 54% of the world’s population. This accounts for 70% of the global energy supply.

As the world population increases (it is estimated to be twice as large by 2050), cities will have an exponentially greater impact on resource consumption and energy usage. Thus it is in cities where sustainable energy measures will have the greatest impact, and where they are of the utmost importance today.

19% of the world’s electricity usage can be attributed to outdated lighting technology. By transitioning to energy efficient lighting solutions, we can drastically reduce that percentage.

A worldwide transition to LED technology would reduce electricity usage by 8% – bringing lighting down to 11% of all electricity used throughout the globe.

Government funds that were previously used to pay for excess electricity consumption can be diverted towards more useful measures such as education and healthcare.

Environment-friendly LED street lights are now replacing outdated street lighting technology that used to rely on mercury, a toxic substance that had to be disposed of in a careful manner. The costs for this waste removal will no longer be required as LED lighting is mercury-free, unlike the high pressure sodium lighting that preceded it. Municipalities will be able to save money by eliminating these mercury disposal costs, and it will also help the environment.

LEDs are brighter than outdated street lights, and a conversion to LED street lighting can help to prevent automotive accidents as well as crime, which in turn can further lower costs for municipalities.

In addition, LED street lights last much longer than outdated street lighting technology, which used to have to be replaced on a regular basis – expensive maintenance contracts can now be reduced or eliminated altogether, saving municipalities even more money.

Converting from outdated street lighting to LED lighting can reduce energy costs by 40%. There is the opportunity for even more savings when smart chip technology is introduced.

When LEDs are connected to smart chip technology for remote management, energy costs can be reduced by 70%. Smart chip LEDs can be dimmed or brightened individually or as a group, providing further savings and giving municipalities more control over their financial future.

Smart chip technology can also be used to provide residents with free WIFI access, as is the case in Plainville, Connecticut, where ESCO Energy Services Company is installing new LED street lights.

For over 20 years, ESCO Energy Services Company has been the leading provider of innovative lighting efficiency solutions throughout New England. Now, ESCO’s comprehensive Municipal Street Light Conversion Program enables your community to cost-effectively take control of your town’s street lighting operations and achieve significant energy cost savings.

ESCO is the only New England — based company qualified to implement the CCM Streetlight Retrofit Program. We help communities control the cost of keeping their streets safe.

Call today to schedule a FREE Street Light System evaluation.

888-ASK-ESCO (275-3726)

To schedule an appointment online, click here.

ESCO Energy Services Company Installs LED Street Lights with Smart Chip Technology in Plainville, Connecticut


ESCO Energy Services Company is installing new LED streetlights in Plainville, Connecticut.

In one of the nation’s first street light conversion projects, more than 1,400 energy efficient LED street lights will replace outdated high-pressure sodium lights.

Plainville, Connecticut will save approximately $75,000 per year through the LED retrofit.

In addition, ESCO will be installing smart chips in a number of the street lights to allow for the lights to be dimmed or brightened individually or as a group.

The smart chips will also enable free WIFI access for residents.

ESCO’s comprehensive Municipal Street Light Conversion Program enables your community to cost-effectively take control of your town’s street lighting operations and achieve significant energy cost savings.

ESCO is the only New England — based company qualified to implement the CCM Streetlight Retrofit Program. We help communities control the cost of keeping their streets safe.

Call today to schedule a FREE Street Light System evaluation.

888-ASK-ESCO (275-3726)

To schedule an appointment online, click here.

Charlestown Explores Converting Streetlights to LEDs with ESCO Energy Services Company

By Jessica Iannetta


— The Board of Commissioners is exploring converting the town’s streetlights to LEDs, a move that could eventually save the town approximately $8,000 a year.

On Tuesday night, the board voted to have ESCO Energy Services Company do an energy audit of the town’s 120 streetlights, which would give the town a better idea of how much it could save from a conversion. The commissioners first started exploring the idea of converting the streetlights in August after hearing a presentation from Jack Hanley of ESCO.

In his presentation, Hanley estimated that it would cost the town about $40,000 to convert all the lights, but with a savings of about $8,000 a year, the conversion would pay for itself in about five years. The $8,000 in savings would come from the lower energy costs of LED lights and from the money Charlestown would save by buying its streetlights from Delmarva Power. Like most municipalities in the country, Charlestown rents its streetlights from a utility company.

“Municipal street light ownership is a relatively new program that’s kind of sweeping the country,” Hanley told the commissioners. “Every month somebody like (Charlestown Town Administrator) Wib (Pumpaly) writes a check and hands it off to the utility and for decades they have been charging exorbitant amounts of money for streetlights you should have owned decades ago. It’s a unique opportunity.”

If Charlestown were to buy the lights from Delmarva, the town would also have to pay for all the maintenance costs. These costs would be significant if the lights aren’t converted to LEDs as the high-pressure sodium bulbs in the lights typically need to be changed out every three to five years. But the LED lights ESCO installs are guaranteed for 10 years and have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, Hanley said.

Still, ESCO recommends that for the first 12 to 15 months towns put aside $1 a month per light as a hedge against future maintenance costs. Once the town has a better idea of annual maintenance costs, that amount can be adjusted, Hanley said. He also noted that ESCO only charges for the repairs it performs rather than a flat, annual maintenance fee.

ESCO also offers the option of having a smart chip installed in each light for an additional cost. The smart chip allows the lights to be dimmed or brightened individually or as a group. So, for example, if there’s an accident at night, a particular light or set of lights could be brightened to better illuminate the scene.

The smart chips could also be used to track the locaton bracelets often worn by Alzheimer’s patients or those with autism, a feature town commissioner Renee Capano said she found particularly attractive when she first heard about ESCO at the Maryland Municipal League conference last summer.

The town would also never have another lost dog, Hanley said, because the smart chips can track the computer chips many dogs have to prevent them from being lost. The chips could even be used to provide WiFi, Hanley said.

Even if Charlestown doesn’t want to use all these functionalities right away, installing the chips at the beginning would cost less than installing them a few years down the road.

“Think of it as making your streetlight heads cable ready,” Hanley said. “You don’t have to take all 500 channels. You can take two or three right now and as the functionality is available or desired, you can switch it on or switch it off. It’s very software-centric rather than hardware-centric.”

ESCO, which is based in Lenox, Mass., has worked with towns in Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut on streetlight conversion programs. Charlestown would be the first town ESCO works with in Maryland.

But Charlestown would not be the first town in the region to install LED lights. Last month, Newark, Del.’s city council voted to replace 2,000 streetlights with LEDs at a cost of $459,759. The move is expected to save the city $13,562 in labor costs and about $90,573 in energy costs. Baltimore also converted its 70,000 streetlights to LEDs in 2012.

On Tuesday night, Charlestown commissioners were optimistic about the idea of converting the town’s lights to LEDs as they unanimously approved the energy audit. Town clerk Janine Antoshak also suggested that, once the energy audit is done and the town has more exact numbers, Charlestown might be eligible for some energy grants to cover the initial cost of converting the lights.

Treasurer Ken Confalone called the LED conversion “a very good deal.” He also noted that the town received a grant to install LEDs in town hall and since then, electricity costs for the building have dropped dramatically.

“The benefit for us the next five years is minimal. It’s in the hundreds of dollars,” Confalone said. “But it’s going to have a huge effect on the finances of the town down the road.”


The Right Fit – Choosing a Building-Automation System For Your Retrofit Projects

Two of the most important steps for reducing energy consumption in building retrofits are active energy management and new controls. Building-Automation Systems (BAS) enable dynamic monitoring and the management of energy consumption. This includes: heating, cooling, lighting, and plug loads. Control retrofits and strategies have a payback period of around 3 to 4 years.

Numerous examples of retrofits using BAS show a substantial amount of financial benefits. Building-automation systems are made up of 3 integrated components: wall sensors, software and control modules. These 3 elements enable facility managers to monitor HVAC energy consumption, lighting, plug loads, and other building systems.

The systems can help manage equipment maintenance and replacement costs, saving money in the process. Managers can program their BAS to provide alarms when equipment operates out of spec. BAS can also simplify building commissioning processes in retrofits and new construction. Operating costs of a commissioned building are 8% to 20% less than non-commissioned buildings.

A well-equipped BAS enables control and monitoring of many different building systems. Some of the features to consider are software, the control module, and wall sensors.

Software is essential for users to access the BAS. 3D graphical interfaces make it easy for people to learn how to use the BAS. Users can access the system from virtually any desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Control Module:
The control module in a building is the central processing unit (CPU) for the BAS. The control module enables the BAS to interact and communicate with building equipment from numerous sources, including HVAC. Here are some of the features that the control module includes:
– Lighting
– Heating and cooling
– Security
– Access control
– Fire safety
– Elevators
– Escalators

The benefits of a well-designed building control module go beyond cost savings when managing building systems. A properly designed BAS can also assist with billing tenants for leased spaces, providing more accurate billing and tracking of rent revenues.

Wall Sensors:
Occupants in the building use wall sensors as their touch point to the BAS. Sleek and attractive sensor designs complement retrofits with contemporary styling. A microset introduced this year has a touch interface similar to a smartphone. Easy to understand icons help the building occupants with the various environmental readings and system status updates. Some of the displayed data includes room and outdoor temperatures, humidity, and CO2 levels. Colored LED lights on the unit indicate to occupants whether the equipment is in heating or cooling mode as well.

Plainville LED Street Light Installation Underway


By Ken Liebeskind
The Plainville Citizen

ESCO Energy Services, the Massachusetts company awarded the LED street lighting project in Plainville, began converting more than 1,400 high-pressure sodium lights with LED street lights on Nov. 2.

“They started at the north end of town and they’re doing about 60 to 80 lights per day and should finish the job around Thanksgiving,” Town Manager Robert Lee said.

Plainville is the first Connecticut town to install LED street lights with ESCO in a program that was coordinated by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Kevin Maloney, a CCM spokesperson, said, “Plainville is a model that encourages other towns to go this route. They’re the first to take this important progressive step to provide lighting in a more cost effective way that will generate long and short term savings.”

Jack Hanley, director of business development at ESCO said the cost of installing LED lights is $304 per fixture, which will cost the town $467,000. But $187,000 will be saved through an Eversource rebate, reducing the cost to $280,000. The town will also save $77,000 annually on the reduced energy cost of LED lights – $33,000 for LED lights compared with $100,000 for sodium lamps.

Lee said the move to LED lights “is a better way to do things. We’ll save money on electric costs and get better performance from the LED lights.”

Plainville also plans to install chips in some of the LED lights in the downtown area that will enable free Wifi access for residents. “We’re looking for advertisers who want to be on the network so we can generate revenue to pay for operational costs,” Lee said.

ESCO will work with the town to negotiate an agreement with Comcast, ATT or another Internet carrier to provide Wifi service.


ESCO’s First LED Install on Street Light Conversion Project in Plainville, Connecticut

In one of the nation’s first street light conversion projects, more than 1,400 energy efficient LED street lights will replace outdated high-pressure sodium lights.

Plainville, Connecticut will save approximately $75,000 per year through the LED retrofit.

ESCO is the only New England — based company qualified to implement the CCM Streetlight Retrofit Program. We help communities control the cost of keeping their streets safe.

Call today to schedule a FREE Street Light System evaluation.

888-ASK-ESCO (275-3726)

To schedule an appointment online, click here.






ESCO Attends CCM’s 32nd Annual Convention


ESCO Energy Services Company attended the 32nd Annual Convention at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford on October 21st.

Every year, the Annual Convention hosts a gathering of town and city leaders in Connecticut and New England for an event featuring workshops, networking and discussions with state and federal officials on the various issues that matter the most to local leaders.

There was also the opportunity to discuss with federal officials and state agency commissioners the emerging partnerships and key initiatives that are important for municipalities.

ESCO is the only New England — based company qualified to implement the CCM Streetlight Retrofit Program. We help communities control the cost of keeping their streets safe.

Call today to schedule a FREE Street Light System evaluation.

888-ASK-ESCO (275-3726)

To schedule an appointment online, click here.

LED Lighting Solutions Help Increase Facility Energy Efficiency

Lighting represents a critical part of any business. From employees needing adequate lighting to do their jobs successfully to customers checking out your products in the appropriate lighting, the safety and sales implications of proper illumination can significantly impact day-to-day business.

Providing the best lighting solutions within your organization, however, can sometimes represent a big operating expense. Depending on the type of business you run, lighting can account for 20% to 50% of electricity consumption, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

LED Lighting Solutions Offer Increased Benefits to Organizations
The best way to lower energy costs is to implement energy-efficient lighting solutions. And thanks to evolving lighting technology, LED products stand out above the rest. The following represent the top five benefits of using LEDs in your organization:

1. Increased Lifespan: Some LEDs last decades depending on specific usage circumstances.

2. Energy Efficiency: Compared to conventional light bulbs, LEDs offer a dramatic increase in energy efficiency, from 80% to 90% in most applications, according to LEDLuxor.

3. Durability: LEDs can withstand the roughest conditions, including exposure to outdoor weather.

4. Environmentally Friendly: Free of toxic chemicals, LED lights are 100% recyclable.

5. Flexible Design: You can use LEDs in many illumination settings, including indoors and outdoors. From single-dimming LEDs to a complete LED lighting system, these lights offer flexible and dynamic color and distribution.

Other Available Lighting Technologies
While LED solutions are increasingly taking the place of other lighting solutions, it’s important to know what each option offers and the applications they are used within.

Compact Fluorescent Lamps: Because incandescent lamps operate inefficiently, many organizations now use Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) for traditional screw-in fixtures. Created in a compact form, “Energy Star-qualified CFLs use 75% less energy than a standard incandescent bulb and last up to 10 times longer,” according to the SBA.

These long-lasting bulbs work well for hard-to-reach locations, such as exterior lighting, wall sconces, suspended or recessed fixtures, task lighting, and accent lighting.

Enhanced Halogen Systems: Consider high-performance infrared (IR) halogen lamps when replacing incandescent lighting. These systems increase the halogen lamp’s operating temperature, resulting in greater efficiency and a better service life.

Fluorescent Lighting: A standard in lighting offices and classrooms, newer fluorescent lighting products offer up to four times more efficiency compared to incandescent lamps, according to the SBA. New fluorescent lighting technologies have resulted in better energy efficiency, improved lighting, and greater flexibility in design.

High-Intensity Discharge Lighting Systems: Facilities that operate warehouses or garages or businesses with high ceilings, accent lighting, and security lighting should consider High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting systems. HIDs range from 50 to 2,000 watts and benefit organizations through improved visibility, longer lifespan, and decreased energy usage.

Remember to Evaluate Your Lighting Controls
When implementing new lighting solutions, always reevaluate lighting controls, which are a critical element to all lighting systems. Controls to consider include dimmers, daylight sensors, occupancy sensors and bi-level switching.

Fluorescent and incandescent dimmers allow you to alter bulb brightness, saving energy and money. Dimmers are great for classrooms, conference rooms, restaurants, and libraries.

Daylight sensors (Photocells) allow your organization to turn off the lights during the day and save energy and money. These light-sensitive controls automatically sense the daylight and adjust lighting accordingly.

Occupancy sensors detect the motion of individuals within a room and automatically turn on and off based on movement. These types of sensors work well in classrooms, warehouses, and restrooms.

Bi-level switching controls a group of lights within a room. For instance, with this type of system you can turn off half of the lights on one side of a room if full lighting is not needed. This control type works great for conference rooms, classroom, and bigger offices.

When it’s time to reevaluate your organization’s lighting needs, make sure to consult with lighting professionals to ensure you find the right solutions for your facility. The experts at ESCO Energy Services Company have helped businesses just like yours save energy and money for more than two decades by installing state-of-the-art technology and top quality lighting products. For your turnkey lighting solutions, contact ESCO today at 888-ASK-ESCO or e-mail


A Brief History of LED Technology

An understanding of Light-Emitting Diode (LED) technology is an investment in future prosperity. Anyone can say, “…because it saves money” or “…because it’s better.” This simple article will educate you on the “why” behind the universal claims that LED lighting is a superior business judgment. When building lights consume approximately 72 percent of industrial energy output, one comes to understand both the impact and importance of fluency with LED industrial lighting.

Put simply, LED applied at the building design level increases not only economic practicality, but improved lighting conditions (even in the most efficient buildings of today). The only question is the degree of benefit.

Heat loss can reduce energy efficiency. Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb lost a whopping 90 percent of its energy to heat (The History of the Light Bulb, 2013). The 1973 US oil crisis caused American engineers to develop a compact fluorescent tube (CFL): a light which could be bent into a lamp with a ballast. Nick Holonyak, Jr., a General Electric employee, invented the first light-emitting diode (LED) lamp with a visible spectrum in 1962. LED technology is a relatively recent historical discovery, which reduces our dependency on reflectors and diffusers.

Depending on bulb quality, LED can burn for up to 175,000 hours of use. In a 2010 white paper, The Institute of Energy Efficiency reported that commercial LED applications contain a number of technological variables: the driver, the control, the optics, the LEDs, surge protection and interconnection.

The Zhaga consortium (led by Philips) is working to define and develop application-specific lighting engines. These standards are expected to address physical dimensions such as “…the photometric, electrical and thermal behavior of LED light engines.” This evolution will allow users to reuse new light fixtures in the future by simply replacing their engines. In other words, industry continues on the global commitment to fuel this evolution while reducing (maybe even eliminating) environmental depletion.

In 2012, America saved roughly $675 million on annual energy costs. The world has recognized a new and eminently powerful way to light society more efficiently and cheaply than at any other time in history.

LED is here to stay, and we expect it to evolve greatly over time as the world’s dominant lighting model.