Cuomo sees bright future for LED lights in state

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Cuomo sees bright future for LED lights in state
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at the 2018 State of the State address. (Photo still from NY Governor Cuomo's YouTube channel)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a smart street lighting program on Monday, calling for more than 500,000 LED street lights to be installed throughout the state by 2025 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

Smart Street Lighting NY, an interagency initiative to be led by the New York Power Authority, aims to work with cities, towns, villages and counties throughout the state to manage and implement LED streetlight technology, according to the governor’s office.

The power agency would provide upfront financing for the projects, with repayments to the agency made after taking into account cost savings.  Municipalities could also seek guidance on options for lighting and specifications on lights to incorporate SMART technology, which can be used for weather sensors, Wi-Fi, energy meters and other features.

“This modernization program will help save taxpayer money, increase energy efficiency, and increase public safety through increased visibility,” Cuomo said, adding that it is a “win-win-win” for the state of New York.

Cuomo previously said he hopes to reduce carbon emissions 40 percent by 2030, based on 1990 levels.

The initiative comes as LED street lights have begun to dot the North Shore, including in the Village of Great Neck, which has replaced more than 800 incandescent bulbs with LED ones, and other areas within the Town of North Hempstead.

Other towns on Long Island, including Huntington, Islip, Brookhaven and Hempstead, have also invested in LED lights in recent years.

LED light advocates have argued that switching to these lights reaps long-term savings, safety and benefits for the environment.

Critics have raised concerns that there could be adverse health effects.

In addition to the power authority, the interagency effort will include the Department of Public Service, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Department of Environmental Conservation and other state agencies.

“NYPA currently has more than 100,000 LED streetlight fixture replacements planned in our energy services pipeline with our governmental customers,” said Gil C. Quiniones, the president and CEO of the agency. “With the launch of Smart Street Lighting NY, we are redoubling our efforts to aggressively meet or exceed the Governor’s goal of 500,000 LED streetlights installed in New York by 2025.”

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