By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – The City Council authorized an agreement with DTE Energy Aug. 1 for the conversion and upgrade of Fort Street lighting from Series Circuit Mercury Vapor to Light Emitting Diode streetlights.
Mercury Vapor lights were used for many years because they were more energy efficient than incandescent and most fluorescent lights. LED lights, with their energy efficiency and longer lifespan, provide brighter lighting while consuming even less energy, and have begun to replace MV lights.
The net cost to the city, which will receive a DTE rebate after the conversion, is $18,941. The city’s anticipated annual energy savings from the conversion is estimated to be $9,704, which produces a 1.9-year payback period.
In addition to providing energy and maintenance savings, LEDs reduce reflected uplight (light pollution), decrease the dark areas between street lights and create a more uniform light distribution.
During the study session prior to the council meeting, Councilman James Trombley mentioned the security advantage of the proposed LED lighting.
“A lot of these businesses have cameras, and break-ins,” Trombley said. “If you’ve got low light on Fort Street, and you are trying to get maybe a look at something, you’re not going to get a good look at it if the road’s not lit up halfway decent.”
Trombley said he was satisfied with the lighting level the proposed LEDs offer.
“The brighter the better for me,” he said. “This is almost double the intensity here.”
Councilman Thomas Coffey said they owe it to the businesses and residents to keep the Fort Street area well-illuminated.
Trombley said it also replaces an older technology with a newer one.