2018-02-13 / Front Page / JT Beacon

Wells installs LED streetlights as part of pilot program

By CASTINE KING
Staff Writer

WELLS­— The town of Wells and the Wells Energy Committee are trying out a pilot program where they will be installing LED street lights in a few blocks of town. 

The town wants to switch from the Central Maine Power street lights to new LED lights that would be owned by the town.

Currently CMP owns all the streetlamps in town. The town of Wells would like to buy the street lights from CMP and make the change to LED.

The town will be just doing a trial run to see which lights will be most appropriate.

Wells has 486 CMP lights currently and if the project is greenlit they will be replaced by 486 LED lights.

"There’s lots of benefits. In three to four years with all LED lights there will be a full payback, with savings in costs and also in energy use," said Wells Town Manager Jon Carter.

He said that a trial run will be conducted mainly to see how the town likes the new LED street lights.

There will be three types of LED lights tested out during the trial run.

The LED lights in the test run will have various types of brightness, Carter said. 

Two of the lights be 4,000 LED, two will be 3,000 LED and two will be 2,700 LED. The town wants to try out the different lights and intensity.

"We want to see which brightness would work best and are hoping to get feedback from the public," said Carter.

On Jan. 31, six LED heads were installed along the test site of a few blocks and will be tested for a couple of months.

"We want people to drive by at night, take a look and see what brightness they like. We really think this change will improve the town," Carter said about the test project.

After the pilot project has been run for a while there will need to be a town meeting about the lights and it will eventually go to a vote.

Carter said that hopefully the vote on the lights will happen in June and then the town can move forward and selecting the brightness.

If all goes well the entire town of wells could have town owned LED street lights. For now, the test run is a step in the right direction to see how the community reacts.

"We welcome feedback and we really want to hear back from the community on this," Carter said.

Once the town officially owns the street lights they will want to switch all the lights over to LED.

Currently they rent the streetlights and will have buy out the remaining life of the street lights as well as new fixtures.

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