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The Town of Frederick is getting a new, and brighter look on the streets! Last year, Frederick Power & Light upgraded the lighting along some of our more heavily travelled streets, such as Tipple Parkway, Ridgeway Boulevard, Frederick Way, Iris Parkway, and Colorado Boulevard.
In 2017, we will be focusing on changing lights in Downtown Frederick, including some of the lights in alleys. We are also planning on extending streetlights along Tipple Parkway to the east between Maple Street and Ridgeway Boulevard. The long term plan is to convert all street lights to Light Emitting Diode (LED).
The conversion of the old lighting to the new LED lighting has many benefits for our community. Economically, the LED lighting uses as much as 80% less energy to operate, and produces more light, measured in lumens. A lumen is a way to measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source. LED streetlights produce around 80 lumens per watt, while traditional streetlights normally produce around 58 lumens per watt.
The LED lights also come on immediately, and there is no “warming up” process of the light. They also do not produce ultraviolet light, which is known to attract bugs in and around the light fixture.
Another great feature of the LED lights is that they have a very long life span. LED streetlights, like LED lights for your home, have a much longer life than traditional streetlights or an incandescent bulb or CFL in the case of your home. This cuts down on the service required by our line crews to replace bulbs or do other maintenance on the fixtures. This leaves us more time to work on more critical projects to continually increase reliability in our electric system.
Another benefit of the LED streetlights we’ve chosen is that they are more directional in the lighting pattern than the traditional cobra-head or security-style lights. These traditional lights will not only shine downward, but also tend to throw light to the sides of the fixtures. These are areas that do not need to have light, which creates “light pollution”. Over the years, groups like the Dark Sky Movement have worked to eliminate light pollution. They do this by working with companies who manufacture outside lighting to provide more directional lighting to keep our night skies dark. That way, we can enjoy a natural starlit night without unwanted light pollution.
The illumination that is produced by an LED streetlight will also show everything in its natural color instead of a yellowed tint. It may not seem that important to us at first mention, but it is nice to see the natural colors of grass, leaves and flowers as we drive or walk at night.
Don't forget, LEDs are not just for streetlights! Frederick Power & Light residential customers can replace your old CFL (compact fluorescent light) or incandescent lights with new LED lights. You are eligible to receive a 50% rebate on the cost of your purchase with the “BE BRIGHT” program. Just go to the Frederick Power & Light page on the Town of Frederick website for full details on LED and other rebates provided, and start saving money!
The image here shows an example of a roadway before and after the streetlights were upgraded to LED.