US-based Denver International Airport (DIA) is all set to retrofit its current 5,400 lights located in the airport’s east and west parking garages, resulting in significant cost and energy savings.

A majority of the lights, which use high-pressure sodium bulbs rated at 188W per fixture, will be replaced by energy-efficient LEDs fittings. The move is part of DIA’s effort to upgrade lighting systems, which includes lights on taxiways and pavement fixtures on the airfield, in order to improve the experience for DIA’s passengers.

The new 51W lights will be assembled by Denver-based Cooper Lighting and are reported to substantially reduce maintenance requirements due to their longer lifespan.

"The new lights will make the parking garages brighter and more evenly lit, increasing visibility and enhancing safety."

Denver aviation manager Kim Day said: "By replacing the existing lights with LEDs, we will reduce the airport’s energy consumption and save a substantial amount of money over time.

"They will also make the parking garages brighter and more evenly lit, increasing visibility and enhancing safety for parking customers."

According to DIA, the new lights combined with other lighting systems in the overall retrofit package are expected to offer a net energy savings of approximately 45%, which would lead to an energy cost saving of roughly $327,000 a year.

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The new lighting system is expected to have an estimated lifespan of 20 years, which is expected to save more than $6.5m in electricity costs.

Construction on the $2.7m lighting project is scheduled to begin this month and expected to complete in one year.

The project qualifies Xcel Energy’s lighting efficiency rebate programme and the airport expects a rebate of approximately $630,000, which will reduce the project cost to less than $2.1m.

Over the last four years, 4,000 of the total 24,000 airfield lights have been upgraded to LED fixtures.

All the lights on runway 8/26 will be upgraded to LEDs by mid-2014, while the airport plans to upgrade additional lights when funding becomes available.