Demonstration to focus attention on energy-efficient streetlights

Maui County will demonstrate Thursday a “first of its kind in Hawaii” wireless remote controlled streetlighting system that can be dimmed late at night to save energy, the county announced last week.

The public is invited to attend an energy-efficient “smart” streetlight demonstration beginning at 7:15 p.m. Thursday at the Wailuku Post Office along Wili Pa Loop.

A less than half-mile walking tour of the streetlights on Wili Pa Loop will follow the presentation. The demonstration should conclude by 8:30 p.m. The public is asked to attend to provide feedback on the lighting.

Some of the streetlights along Wili Pa Loop, beginning at the Eha Street intersection, are being dimmed to save energy daily from 10 p.m. to sunrise by using a wireless remote control.

“These tests are helping us light the path toward reducing energy consumption and county costs,” Mayor Alan Arakawa said in a news release. “This new technology also offers the opportunity to uphold street safety while reducing light pollution, which in itself has numerous impacts.”

Thursday’s demonstration will involve evaluating the various colors and coverage of light from each fixture and their effects on vision, safety, wildlife, light pollution and costs.

Kal Kobayashi, Maui County energy coordinator, said that the feedback he receives from the demonstration will help determine if the county should have an adaptive system where wireless controls will be able to dim the streetlights.

He added that Thursday’s event also will help the county identify which colors, ranging from white to yellow, will be the best lighting to use.

“The testing is one of the most advanced of its kind in the U.S.,” said Jim Helmer, president of Lightmoves and the former director of transportation for the City of San Jose, Calif.

Helmer, who is assisting the county with the testing, called Maui County a pioneer in the realm of streetlighting.

“Maui County is truly at the forefront of the movement to drive down electricity costs by testing and installing LED (light-emitting diode) streetlighting,” Helmer said in a release. “County officials are seeking input from members of the public, including residents, first responders, environmental experts and local, state and federal agencies. Lights being developed today are no longer being used just to light the streets; they are quickly becoming a part of energy-conserving smart grid solutions as well.”

The demonstration will be conducted by Clanton and Associates, a lighting design firm practicing environmentally sensitive and sustainable design for more than 30 years.

The LED streetlights being demonstrated were provided by SWARCO Traffic Americas and by C&W Energy Solutions.

The wireless controls were built by Fortel Traffic.

The public is encouraged to comment on existing and dimmed lighting levels.

To submit comment, send email to Kobayashi at or mail to Department of Management, 200 S. High St., Wailuku 96793.

For more information, contact at Kobayashi at 270-7832 or via the email above.