Most people don’t think about street lights – they are just there…
Yet, for most municipalities their highest utility cost is their street lights. The lighting we use on our walkways and streets also impacts energy use, sustainability, aesthetics and the environment.
The Town Has Completed Several Energy-Efficient Conversions of Our Street Lights
In cooperation with Pepco, the Town, with input from the Lighting Committee, has completed several energy-efficient conversions of our street lights that have helped reduce our lighting costs while improving service. One conversion occurred in 2011-2012 and another in 2020. These two conversions reduced the Town’s utility costs from approximately $20,000 to $5,000, annually.
Pepco Owns Our Street Lights And Poles
Over the years, we have been able to reduce our lighting costs, but that reduction could be temporary because TWG does not own its street light fixtures and poles; they are currently owned by Pepco.
The Town is on the National Register of Historic Places, and 15 of its spherical street lights are together considered a “historic associated feature”—an important attribute of the historic district’s setting.
The Town Needs to Maintain Costs and Preserve the Historic Integrity of Our Lighting
The Town needs to be proactive both to maintain costs and preserve the historic integrity of our lighting. This might include purchasing our own street light fixtures so we can maintain aesthetic and economic control of our lighting and utility needs, and be able to choose our own energy provider/source. Our intention is to take our solid (but dated) street light fixtures and renovate them to modern standards, including dark-sky compliance standards, and incorporating features to prevent light intrusion.
The Town’s old but SOLID Pemco fixtures. The majority of our street lights are Pemco fixtures. In cooperation with Pepco, we have already converted these fixtures to use LED bulbs. There is room to move the bulb assembly up into the fixture itself, which would make the unit dark-sky compliant.
Alternative Lighting for Walkways and Avenues
The Lighting Committee has developed a list of attributes and recommendations.
Major attributes for the Town’s lighting going forward include:
- warm color temperature of no more than 3000k;
- dark-sky compliance;
- different lighting for the streets versus the walkways both in terms of height and fixtures;
- solar lighting;
- smart lighting and more.
The Lighting Committee meets the fourth Wednesday of every month. All are welcome to join us!
Demonstration bollard walkway lights that were installed around McCathran Hall.
Agendas, Minutes and Other Committee Documents
- You can view all agendas and minutes for meetings in the Committee’s Google docs folder at bit.ly/WG-LightingCmteDocs
- May 2020 Town Street Light Status Table (PDF)
- May 2020 Street lights with proposed LED bulbs (PDF)
- March 2020 Lighting Attributes for Streets and Walkways – Draft Recommendations (PDF)
- Mapped inventory of all street lights in Town (Google maps)
The latest news from the Committee is described in the Lighting Committee section of the most recent monthly Town Bulletin.