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Posted on: March 26, 2020

Energy Efficiency Streetlight Upgrade Project Commences in Longmeadow

LED streetlight

ENERGY EFFICIENCY STREETLIGHT UPGRADE PROJECT COMMENCES IN LONGMEADOW

The Town of Longmeadow recently launched the streetlight conversion project, which will upgrade approximately 1,400 streetlights throughout the Town to high efficiency Light Emitting Diode (LED) fixtures.

The project is being managed on behalf of the Town by Tanko Lighting of San Francisco. The project began in August 2019, with an audit that identified the precise locations and characteristics of the Town’s existing streetlights. In December, 2019 the Town purchased the existing streetlights from Eversource, an action that eliminated $180,000 per year in rental charges. The conversion to LED fixtures is expected to save over $50,000 in electricity costs per year.    

Not only will the conversion to LED lighting reduce the Town’s energy use, but it will also improve the color and quality of light throughout the Town – resulting in significant cost savings and increased public safety.  

The project was funded by an appropriation of $870,000 at the May 2019 town meeting.  These funds will pay for the purchase of the lights ($645,000) from Eversource and, supplemented by grants from the Commonwealth of Mass Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and Eversource Corporation.  The town anticipates a net operational savings of $125,000 per year for the next 15 years (while the authorized borrowing is paid back) and an annual savings of over $200,000 per after bond payments end.  Overall, the project will pay back the town’s investment in less than 7 years, while reducing the energy used to light our streets by 63%.  

Over the next few months, contractors from Arden Engineering will be working throughout town to install the new LED lights.  Their work will begin by replacing the traditional arching streetlights (called cobra head lights) and will conclude with the conversion of the internal components of our decorative fixtures.  The changes will be apparent as the old sodium vapor and halogen-based lights are changed to modern LED fixtures.  The conversion of our decorative fixtures will be less obvious as the fixtures will remain with only the internal electrical components (and bulb) converted to LEDs.  

The new lights are designed to have less light scatter – to direct a greater percentage of the light they generate down to the ground, and not sideways or upward.  Although residents will notice a change to the color of the light, the fixtures were selected to provide a lighting color pleasing to residents, avoiding the bright white color seen in some new car LED headlights.  

Once the new LEDs are installed and any “burn-in” failures are addressed, the bulbs are guaranteed for 15-year life.  Street light failures or other issues should be reported to the Longmeadow DPW (through their web page at http://www.longmeadow.org/1176/Streetlights) or by phone at 413-567-3400.  

For comments or questions about the Arden Engineering installation work, please contact the Longmeadow DPW or the Select Board office at 413-565-4110.  

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