Thromde: About 174 streetlights along the Thimphu-Babesa expressway will be replaced with induction lighting system of 100 watt per luminaire.

The new lighting system will have better brightness and energy consumption will be reduced by about 70 percent. Thimphu thromde will be able to save about Nu 80,000 every month from expressway lights alone.

Currently, Thimphu city uses high-pressure sodium vapor lights for the streets. The wattage of each bulb along the expressway is 400. On an average, Thimphu thromde pays more than Nu 500,000 every month for the street lights in the city. Streetlights along the expressway cost thromde about Nu120, 000 every month.

Thimphu Thrompon Kinlay Dorjee said that with the new energy efficient lighting system, monthly bill might reduce by about Nu 300,000 a month.

Tender has been awarded to supply induction and light-emitting diode (LED) efficient lighting equipment for the expressway.

Kinlay Dorjee said that replacing new lighting system will have huge impact on the thromde’s revenue because the thromde is expanding and it requires lighting in every corner.

“If we continue with the same lighting system that we have, maybe in the next five years our electricity bill may come to about Nu 2,000,000 a month.  With LED we may not even reach Nu 500,000 a month.”

Energy consumption will be saved, which can be exported, said Kinlay Dorjee.

Thromde’s electrical executive engineer said that the main reason to go for LED and induction lighting system is because of low maintenance cost and durability. LED and induction light can last 100,000 hours. Apart from long lifespan, the lights are highly energy efficient.

The initial costs of installing the lights will, of course, be very high, said Kinlay Dorjee.  “But is a good project for the city to reduce cost on expenditure.”

Kinlay Dorjee said that the money saved from the projects could be invested in other areas like improving footpaths and creating recreational parks, among others.

To test the lights, a Singaporean company has installed eight induction lights along the expressway.

Executive engineer said that the underground cables for the streetlights require maximum maintenance work, and with many development activities taking place, the cables underground are damaged. “Most of the time, people don’t inform the thromde and we know of the damaged cables only when people complain,” he said. “This is one of the problems the thromde face apart from the theft of the electrical equipments.”

The installation of new streetlights in Olakha, Lungtenphu and Langjuphakha are of LED lighting technology.

The replacement of the streetlights along the expressway is expected to complete by October this year. By December this year, the streetlights along Norzin and Doeboom Lam will be replaced.

UNDP has provided USD 150,000 to replace the streetlights along the expressway. The thromde will use its reserve fund to change the lighting system in other parts of the city. The category of the wattage of the lighting system will differ based on the width of the road.

The height of the lampposts measures 7.5 meters above the ground level and the distance between the poles should be 30 meters.

Till date, the city has 1,827 lampposts and 2,536 street lights.

Dechen Tshomo