, Newburyport, MA


December 24, 2010

LED street lights may be the answer

To the editor:

Mayor Donna Holaday's latest ideas article: The mayor recently announced a plan to replace worn-out street lights. I trust that the Energy Advisory Committee is keeping track of LED (light-emitting diode) street lights, which are offered by a number of companies. Since the output of the LEDs is directional, they do not annoy residents as much due to light spill. LEDs convert the electricity directly into light so that they are more efficient than either incandescent or gas discharge lamps.

I have said for some time that no sooner would we persuade everyone to replace their incandescent bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps), when we would have to start getting them to change to LEDs. It seems that 2011 will be the year of the LEDs. This year I found that Osram-Sylvania was offering LED candelabra bulbs at under $8 but then apparently withdrew them without explanation. However, much to my amazement, I found that Walmart offers a range of LED bulbs at this price. We have installed them in the driveway fittings at my condominium where the projection is that for an initial outlay of $223, we will save $250 a year in energy costs, not counting the labor involved in continually replacing incandescent bulbs.

I would like to add to the mayor's suggestion, reported in Dec. 16's Daily News, to provide an app for smart phones to enable a visitor to research historical sites. In the early days of SEED, a project was started to map the many ecologically significant sites in the area as a guide to eco-tourists. I understand that one of our schools has an ongoing project to do the same thing. This information could get the same treatment.

Alan Papert


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