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Cost to switch to LED street lighting less than first projected

Town engineer Michael Collins updated the Town Board during Tuesday’s work session on a plan to switch town streetlights to LEDs, which he said will cost about a third less than first projected.

A townwide replacement of all bulbs and fixtures will cost about $235,000 and will save about $59,000 a year in electricity costs, according to Mr. Collins, and should pay for itself in four years. Initial calculations estimated the project cost at approximately $750,000 and completion time at two to three months. 

This proposal does not include Fishers Island.

The town will be able to piggyback onto a grant acquired by Brookhaven Town, which is also replacing a large number of streetlights. Brookhaven was required to write that grant application so other municipalities could also benefit.

This will substantially reduce the cost of installation, but because Brookhaven wants brighter lights than Southold, it will not defray the cost of purchasing the lights. Brookhaven’s lights will have a 3,000 to 4,000 kelvin color temperature profile, which is more blue than yellow, but Mr. Collins said he received calls from residents and the Planning Board saying Southold should adopt a more yellow light.

“We’re spending thousands of dollars a year on replacements already, so that will go away,” Mr. Collins said.

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