Street lights replaced along I-40 in Albuquerque


The city of Albuquerque has replaced old street lights along I-40 with new, brighter lights.

Over the past year the city and lighting company Citelum have worked to engineer a custom “lighting master plan” for Albuquerque.

It includes converting more than 20,000 lights to LED bulbs.

Right now the city is halfway done with the interstate.

The city says when the project is complete, it will save millions of dollars in electric costs.

With new project, Albuquerque’s future is looking bright

A citywide project hopes to shine some light on Albuquerque’s future.


“This is a new day,” community activist Frank Martinez said as, behind him, brand new LED streetlights illuminated the streets of Martineztown.

“It’s going to be significant in our future and in the quality of our life,” Martinez said to a crowd of around 20 people Tuesday evening at the unveiling of the EnvisionABQ project.

The Martineztown neighborhood served as a pilot project and, eventually, the city expects to have such LED lights shine from every pole in the city.

The company in charge of the project, Citelum, plans to complete the $20 million project in 12 months and will maintain the streetlights for another 15 years.

“When this is fully implemented, the citizens are going to be tickled pink and we’re going to be a lot safer for it,” Martinez said.

He said the new lights will be a crime deterrent, enhance public safety for cyclists and pedestrians while improving traffic flow and boosting economic development.

Martinez praised Mayor Richard Berry and others in the outgoing administration for giving neighborhoods the “running room” necessary to get projects like this done.
Berry thanked those who live in South Martineztown for leading the pilot project and called Martinez a mentor and hero.

“I’m just really proud to be here and kick this off,” the mayor said to a crowd of residents, community members and construction workers.

Berry said the citywide project will pay for itself through an estimated $19 million in energy savings and involve no tax increase while keeping the streets better lit.

LED, or light-emitting diode, lights last longer and use less electricity than the high-pressure sodium street lights currently used.

Over the years, the conversion will reduce the city’s carbon footprint by almost 123,000 metric tons, Berry said, equivalent to taking 26,000 cars off the road.

“This initiative will not only make our city more beautiful and energy efficient, but it will also improve public safety,” he said. “Crime does not like a stage and by strategically lighting up our neighborhoods we can make Albuquerque safer.”

Berry said the cost savings generated through energy efficiency can go toward additional lighting and other public safety measures in high crime areas of Albuquerque.

During the unveiling, Roy Reine admired the brightness and span of the new LED streetlights compared with the older ones that extend into the distance.

Reine, who has lived in Martineztown for 38 years, said there has always been a lighting problem in the neighborhood.

“It’s always dim,” he said, particularly around Longfellow Elementary School and the nearby park where the lights would be turned off during weekends.

Reine said during one late-night stroll, his walking partner tripped over a curb and broke her arm.

It’s not just bad visibility, however, he said. In the past few years, the neighborhood has had a new issue arise.

“We have a lot of vagrants that are coming in…camping out,” Reine said. “It gives them an opportunity to move around and not have people looking at them, people watching them.”

Although Reine often sees the homeless pitch tents and sleep around Longfellow Elementary and the nearby park, he knows the problem stretches across the city.

“Everybody needs it,” he said of the brighter streetlights. “More at the park, more at the school, more everywhere.”

ABQ to Upgrade City-Owned Lights to LED

ABQ to Upgrade City-Owned Lights to LED

On November 21st, 2017, Mayor R. Richard Berry celebrated the activation of a 15-year contract to convert over 20,000 streetlights to LED, implement an Internet of Things (IoT) architecture and deploy a central management system for operation & maintenance in the City of Albuquerque.

Citywide Lighting Project to Illuminate Albuquerque

LED lighting project to improve energy efficiency and public safety.

Aug. 17, 2017

Albuquerque, NM- Mayor Richard Berry and the City Council announced the City is one step closer to converting street lights across Albuquerque to LED. On Monday, the Finance and Government Operations Committee of the City Council unanimously passed the project with recommendation to the full City Council for final approval. Citywide, there are 32,600 street lights owned by both the City of Albuquerque and the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM). This project will convert more than 20,000 city owned lights with the remainder being negotiated with PNM.

Over the past 12 months the City and Citelum, the successful bidder, have worked together to engineer a custom "Lighting Master Plan" for the city, starting with a complete inventory of every street light. Each light was inspected, measured for light output, and then cataloged into a citywide database. The conversion to LED streetlights will be paid for through electrical savings and reduced maintenance costs and will not require fee or rate increases. The total cost of the initial 20,000 LED lights is $20M and will take approximately 12 months to complete.

As part of the contract, Citelum will maintain the lights for 15 years, guaranteeing both energy and maintenance cost savings as well as improved lighting with less light pollution to protect the night sky.

Project Benefits

The benefits of the project include:

  • Energy and maintenance lifetime cost savings of approximately $19M
  • Increased public safety
  • Increased roadway safety
  • Specific lighting controls for activity centers, major roadways and neighborhoods

By converting to LED, the City will reduces its offset of carbon dioxide by more than 123,000 tons over its 15 year lifetime, which is the equivalent of removing 12,999 single family homes energy use off the grid for one year.

Life expectancy of LED lighting far exceeds that of our current street lights. The ability to monitor real time data will allow for faster repair times and also exact location targeting, which will eliminate the time spent searching for non-operational street lights, further reducing our carbon footprint.

'Make Albuquerque Safer'

"This initiative will not only make our city more beautiful and energy efficient, but it will also improve public safety," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "Crime does not like a stage and by strategically lighting up our neighborhoods we can make Albuquerque safer."

With the cost savings that will be generated through the energy efficiency, the City will also be able to implement additional lighting and other public safety tools in high crime areas of town.

About Citelum

Citelum will provide global lighting expertise and industry best practices, in coordination with our local knowledge to ensure that the City of Albuquerque will receive the most reliable and efficient LED and smart control upgrade as possible. By selecting Citelum, Albuquerque has partnered with a company trusted by other major cities such as Copenhagen and Paris. To date, Citelum has more than 2.5 million streetlights under their management.

The agreement between the City and Citelum is based on measurable and enforceable Key Performance Indicators that guarantee the City will benefit from a higher percentage of lights on (98% at all times), and faster response times in repairing outages (48 hours for standard repairs, excluding special order items). This improved design and service will directly benefit Albuquerque’s residents and visitors by providing them with a safer and interactive nighttime environment.