LED lights futures’ look bright

Published 8:52 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Further investigation into the effectiveness of LED streetlights for the city of Brundidge has experts feeling a bit better than they did after the initial assessment.

“This looks reliable for most of what was originally planned,” said Consulting Electrical Engineer David St. John at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

That plan was to replace lights along Main Street and Alabama 10 with energy efficient LED lights with the help of a recently approved energy conservation grant.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

After the initial evaluation, St. John was concerned about the lights’ ability to effectively light those main thoroughfares because they may have been too wide.

But after some more intensive research, St. John and City Manager Britt Thomas said they were confident the lights would work in most areas.

“It appears we’ll have a nice even light pattern,” St. John said.

This is opposed to the concentrated effect given off by current lights that fade out in intensity gradually, creating a spotty lighting pattern along streets.

Pending approval from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the current plan is not far off from the original.

On Main Street, the lighting would start as far north as the Piggly Wiggly and extend south to the O Tasty Restaurant near Clayton Street. The decorative lights downtown would not be replaced.

On Alabama 10, the lighting would begin just west of the Southeast Alabama Gas District Building and illuminate as far east as the end of residential areas, again without replacing decorative lights.

The city would then assess the performance of the lights, then decide where to invest the remaining $30,000 that will be available for additional energy saving LEDs.

St. John said if manufacturer projections were correct, the city of Brundidge could save an estimated $19,000 per year in energy and maintenance costs over a 12-year period.

Those savings would be contingent on several factors such as the actual effective-life of the bulbs and how they will react to the Southeastern climate where they’ve received minimal testing.