Street Lights

Have you ever wonder who pays the bill for your street light? I do, and good thing that supply some information regarding street lights. Below are some text I got from the Meralco website.

Streetlights serve a role in society that is not limited to enabling people to see where they are going. On a broader perspective, the existence of streetlights emphasizes the value of safety, peace and order and a robust economy. Aside from these, the bright streets give a nice, warm feeling of contentment and happiness.

At present, MERALCO has around 285,000 streetlights all over its franchise area that it installed and is currently maintaining. This goes to show that Meralco is committed to installing and maintaining streetlights, whenever the need is manifested by streetlight applications.

There are however more things that we need to know about streelights, that is not only informative and interesting but also helpful for a general understanding of the intricacies of the streetlighting system.

How To Identify Meralco Street Lights

MERALCO streetlight facilities are identified thru:

  • Pole-mounted streetlights – MERALCO numbers that are written on metal pole tags wrap around concrete or wood poles
  • Ornamental streetlights – MERALCO numbers on yellow stickers installed on the streetlight steel poles. There is also a yellow sticker with the MERALCO logo on top of the pole numbers.

Of streetlights installed, majority are high intensity discharge (HID) lamps. The rating or wattage of the streetlights are 70 watts high pressure sodium (HPS), 125 watts high pressure mercury (HPM), 150 watts HPS, 250 watts HPS and 400 watts HPS. The bulk or more than 90% of the total number are 70 watts HPS and 125 watts HPM. The rating or wattage of the streetlight luminaire can be easily determined and seen from the road surface thru yellow stickers bearing the numerical wattage such as 7 or 07 for 70 watts, 15 for 150 watts, 25 for 250 watts and 40 for 400 watts.

Street Lights Billing:

There are two (2) types of billings that MERALCO charges for streetlight service as follows:

  1. Flat rate streetlights service – Applied to MERALCO-owned streetlight facilities. The amount is based on the rating of wattage of the lamp and electricity consumption that has been computed by MERALCO for a duration of 12-hour night time operation per month. MERALCO has five (5) ratings or wattages for the company-owned streetlights: 70 watts HPS or 125 watts HPM, 150 watts HPS, 250 watts HPS and 400 watts HPS.
  2. Metered rate streetlight service – Applied to customer-owned lighting facilities. The amount of billing is based on the electricity consumption that is registered and read thru the kilowatt-hour meters every month. Customers under the metered rate streetlight service are local government units, barangays, homeowners associations, commercial center associations, industrial estates, and real estate developers.

How The Street Lights Operate:

Streetlights operate during the night normally for 12 hours, from 6 pm to 6 am. They are either individually controlled or group controlled. The switching on and off is thru a device called the photocontrol. The photocontrol is device that senses the amount of light and automatically turns on and off the lamp inside the streetlight luminaire. The photocontrol is mounted on top of streetlight luminaires for the ones that are individually-controlled, and on top of lighting control panel box for the streetlight luminaires for those that are group controlled.

All streetlights owned by MERALCO are controlled by photocontrol for automatic dusk to dawn operation.

Lighting facilities owned by customer are also automatically controlled by photocontrol, however, some do not have photocontrol and are manually operated. Their personnel switch on and off the lights at certain hours.

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