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The Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) chose LED lighting from Acuity Brands for its lighting upgrade project along Interstate 295. Acuity said the upgrade to Holophane HMAO LED high-mast outdoor lighting fixtures will improve lighting on the roadway and reduce energy costs for the department. 

The lighting manufacturer will retrofit 105 lights with the new LEDs to provide more evenly distributed light and to improve energy efficiency. The new lights use 290-watts per fixture and offer up to 100,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, the company said in a statement.   

"Our main goal is to provide a safe transportation system for the state of Maine," said Ron Cote, MaineDOT electrical supervisor. "We were looking for a light source that would provide lower maintenance and a whiter light. The benefits of multiple LED drivers and modules and the longevity of Holophane HMAO LED fixtures are exactly what we wanted. Additionally, the quality of light combined with the payback of these fixtures is absolutely incredible."

To help save on energy costs, the department would turn off its high-pressure sodium lights from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night. This left roads and rest areas dark and uneven distribution left a glare on the road for nighttime drivers. Acuity said each new light will only cost the state $66 a month compared to the previously lights that cost $200 a month. 

Because the cost reduction for the new lights is so significant, the department plans to leave the lights on throughout the night to increase safety for drivers and travelers that may be stopping to use rest areas. MaineDOT expects to save about $135,000 a year after the upgrade is completed. 

The new lights will also allow for the department to have a back up.