SCE Helps Light the Way With LEDs on Compton Streets

An SCE pilot program targets Compton, Inglewood and Ridgecrest for new photo-cell sensor streetlights that are brighter, smarter and will save energy.

Cornelius Browning Jr. has been waiting for years for a solution to the metal halide streetlights in his Compton community.

While the halide lights are bright, they are less efficient, said Browning, a Southern California Edison senior planning specialist.

“They would go out, sometimes replacements were hard to get because they weren’t in SCE’s inventory and they required a lot of energy, so they cost a lot,” he said.

Over several years and conversations with city officials, SCE came up with a solution — new energy-efficient LED streetlights for the city of 97,000. SCE began installing them in Browning’s neighborhood and other parts of Compton this month.

SCE installed about
175,000 LED streetlights over the last few years. The ones being installed in Compton also have smart-communicating photo sensors in the fixtures.

The sensors will notify SCE of streetlight outages as soon as they occur so it will take less time for them to be replaced. The sensors also offer other opportunities for future energy savings, including ramping up the lights at sunset and ramping down the lights at dawn.

Cornelius Browning Jr. is an SCE senior planning specialist who has worked to get LED streetlights in his Compton community.

Cornelius Browning Jr. (picture right) is an SCE senior planning specialist who has worked to get LED streetlights in his Compton community.

The increased energy efficiency from the technology is expected to save the city $250,000 every year.

John King, SCE manager of street light projects, called the Compton project a wonderful opportunity.

“A huge benefit is we get instant communication when a light fails — like when a car hits a streetlight pole or a light goes out for any reason — we will know that light has failed and we can respond more quickly,” said King. “Better service, energy efficiency and lower cost to the customer — That’s great news.”

Compton Mayor Aja Brown said the new streetlights fulfill the city council’s commitment to safety, sustainability and financial prudence.

“We know that this project will enhance the quality of life for Compton residents for years to come,” Brown said.

The Compton Sheriff’s Station also was pleased with the new streetlights.

“These smart streetlights will help ensure that our streets stay lit at night and that any outages are repaired quickly, which could potentially lead to lower crime and increased safety for residents,” said Compton Sheriff's Station Captain LaTonya Clark.

Compton is one of three cities in SCE’s service area selected for the new smart LED pilot program. Ridgecrest is expected to get the streetlights this summer and Inglewood later this year.

The smart LED streetlights are one more step SCE is taking in it
s “Pathway 2045" toward meeting the state’s 2045 goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through grid electrification and smart technology.

In March, SCE is expected to complete the installation of about 4,500 of the new LEDs on the streetlights it owns in Compton. The city is currently looking for opportunities to replace the 1,600 other city-owned streetlights. The streetlight fixtures are expected to last 12-20 years.

For SCE’s Browning, the new street lights are cause for celebration.

“I welcome them,” Browning said. “This project has been near and dear to my heart.”