The town authorities set up an ad hoc committee that was appointed to evaluate LED streetlights in April 2015, and released their findings and recommendations to the Municipal Services Committee of the Board of Trustees on Jan. 26, 2016.
The committee ran a three month pilot project in September and October 2015 when they installed 25 LED streetlights with various colors and brightness in parts of the village, and asked local residents for feedback.
By the end of the pilot project, the committee had received only 11 email responses from residents, and most were split on their perceptions of the new lights.
"About half preferred the new LEDs and the other half found the sample lights too bright and/or harsh in color,” wrote the committee. “Most of the responses, regardless of their view on the brightness and color, were in favor of the LED project as a direction for the Village."
The committee reviewed their findings on the quality of light, the color of the light, distribution of the light and glare, which were all issues raised in other communities against LED streetlights.
Cool white LEDs that had a bluish tint were less preferred over the softer warm white LED lights, since it was less likely to disturb circadian rhythm and cycles.
LED streetlights tested also varied in light distribution, sometimes it could illuminate the resident’s lawn, or even behind poles and had to be controlled by shields. Bright spots or striping could also result.
Glare from streetlights that could affect drivers visibility and was exacerbated on streets located in hills, where the light can be viewed from high or low angles. The committee noted properly designed LED streetlights designed to emit uniform and pleasing light would be the solution to the issues.
The streetlight conversion would cost the town an estimated $550,000 to $650,000 with savings of about $105,000 in electricity cost, resulting in an investment payback in six to seven years.
The committee recommended that the village moved into the second phase pilot study which involves testing 25 LED fixtures in high traffic streets, which would also seal the final leg of the deal. The company proposed the full installation of the LED lights to take place over a period of five years.