"We have been testing since last year, and we are pleased with what we saw," says Nelson. She says 500 units will give NYCTA enough to illuminate large sites and check the behavior of the devices in quantity.

Nelson says the NYCTA canvassed the LED industry for suppliers. Clear-Vu was able not only to solve technical problems others could not—such as the heat issues involved in stepping down the DC power to 24 volts from 600 volts—but also anticipated them before they sat down to discuss the project. "We did not get back any other responses, especially for this kind of worksite," Nelson says.

While pleased with the transit sale, Lax is really excited about breaking into a much larger market by lighting what he thinks is the first fully LED-lit jobsite in the country. On Nov. 2, he shipped the last 376 units for the 791-unit installation.

Davey says the advantages of the LEDs were an easy sale to the owner, who, after the job is complete, will keep half the units lighting mechanical and interstitial spaces.

Lax says the hardware costs three to four times more than an incandescent, compact fluorescent or metal halide system, but LEDs can replace them all, they are rugged, low voltage, low heat, and they require no maintenance.

Energy savings is the real boon. Light pollution and energy consumption are reduced when strings of 100-watt incandescent bulbs, 10 ft on center and mixed with 400-watt metal halide lamps for larger spaces, are converted to 40-watt bulbs, 15 ft on center and programmed to switch to 8 watts at night. Over a two-year period, conventional lights are projected to cost $395,000, while LED is valued at $45,000.