Brundidge LED lights’ future dimmer

Published 8:49 pm Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Energy Conservation Grant that the city of Brundidge will receive for a project involving LED lights, may not have as bright of a future as was originally estimated.

“The lights are not quite as potent as we hoped,” said Consulting Electrical Engineer David St. John.

He was quick to substantiate however, the program still had the potential to afford the City of Brundidge significant savings.

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“We’ll still accomplish energy savings, just not as drastic,” St. John said.

The original plan proposed, was to take the funds provided by the grant to finance a replacement of the streetlights along Main St. and Alabama10 with energy-efficient and virtually maintenance-free LED lights.

But St. John said that after an initial assessment, he didn’t think the lights were bright enough for those main thoroughfares.

“We’re concerned about the fixtures on wider roadways,” he said.

St. John suggested alternatives such as considering the use of the lights on other roads.

A meeting will take place today with the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and St. John said he had some ideas to pitch.

One proposal would be to test just a few lights in certain areas, before fully committing to those areas.

“We’ll see if it’s appropriate to scale an entire project,” St. John said.

Whatever is decided at the meeting, St John said the advanced technology of the new lights is impressive.

“The realistic lifetime of these fixtures is 11 years,” he said.

Council Member Cynthia Pearson didn’t disagree with the plan, but she said she was skeptical of LED lights’ life expectancy.

“I’ll watch and see if they last 11 years,” she said.

St. John said that Brundidge would be ill-advised not to take advantage of the use of LED lights and follow in the footsteps of other cities.

“This is where the market is pushing,” he said.