SANATOGA PA – Street lights and other municipal fixtures made with light-emitting diodes – the tiny, bulb-like products that give off a powerful white light and which often last longer and are considered comparatively more efficient than conventional lamps – have caught the eye of local electrician, and Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ vice president, Bruce Foltz.
Foltz last week told his board colleagues he recently attended a trade show at which LED lighting fixtures were prominently featured. He learned more about what they have to offer in terms of safety and cost savings to municipalities, Foltz reported, and said he was particularly impressed with what he called their environmentally friendly attributes.
“The environmental way is the way to go,” Foltz said.
His interest extends beyond the personal and professional. Foltz told commissioners he’d “like to pursue” the future installation of LED lighting within the township. They encouraged him to continue his research.
LED street lighting is catching on elsewhere in Pennsylvania.
The borough of Bethlehem, known as The Christmas City and located 45 miles northeast of Sanatoga, earlier this month began the task of installing LED bulbs in 4,000 of its street lights. Bethlehem’s mayor claims the bulbs are brighter, will last 15 years, and reduce the borough’s energy costs by 70 percent a year. That project comes with a substantial price tag: $3.8 million.
At the state’s western end, Pittsburgh in March announced plans to change out ten times as many fixtures as Bethlehem – a total of 40,000 street lights – for LEDs over a 5-to-10-year period. It, too, projects a 70-percent savings in energy and related costs, based on a pilot installation made in a city neighborhood during 2008. Reviews from residents there have been “overwhelmingly positive,” according to one report.
Not everything is rosy with LED lighting, though.
A Carnegie Mellon University study done to accompany the Pittsburgh project noted that LEDs produced excessive glare that could affect sight-sensitive drivers, particularly older adults. It also noted that, although LEDs are a better environmental choice than many current lighting products, their manufacture “is energy intensive” and relies in part on “dangerous chemicals” in the manufacturing process.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Oct. 24 meeting):
- Municipal LED Lighting Catches Commissioner’s Fancy
- Eight Volunteers Respond To Call For Zoning Board
- September Warrant Details Township Income, Expenses
- Brookside CC, Hill School Win Reassessment Battles
- Codes, Zoning Officer Resigns; Board Seeks Successor
- Commissioners Defend Paying Two Managers’ Salaries
Photo from Google Images