The Village of Great Neck will likely complete the first phase of its LED light installation by the end of the week, Village Clerk-Treasurer Joe Gill said on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday morning, Gill said Ankers Electric, who they contracted to install the lights, has installed 780 out of 833 lights –or 94 percent.
Barring any weather issues, Gill said, the village could be done as early as Wednesday because the company has been doing between 50 and 70 lights a day.
The roughly $600,000 project, managed by RealTerm Energy, aimed to replace an aging system of lights to illuminate streets, sidewalks, and make the area safer to drive and walk in.
“The old lights were — best we could figure out — 25 years old… so it was time to replace the system,” Gill said. “We want to replace it with something that would make sense for the 25 years going forward.”
So far, Gill said there have been some issues such as some lights being too bright, some places not having power, a few fixtures not being noted in their initial survey and poles being crooked.
Gill also said a handful of people called the village and that they delivered a list of names to the installer to address raised issues once a full installation is done.
But overall, he said he believes the project is coming along well.
“It’s a big expense, so you want to make sure what you’re doing is correct,” Gill said. “And we believe we have done that.”
The LED light project has sparked some debates in Village Hall meetings regarding public health, with residents referencing studies suggesting cumulative exposure to LED lighting can disrupt sleep cycles and cause retinal damage.
Village officials have said these studies likely refer more specifically to cellphones and computers rather than LED street lighting.
The board also dismissed a study by Harvard Medical School, submitted to Mayor Pedram Bral by Laura Weinberg, president of the Great Neck Breast Cancer Coalition. Bral said the study showed it found cancers only in past and current smokers, with the increased risk being insignificant.
Some also raised issues with transparency about the scope of the project like Rebecca Gilliar, a civic activist who ran for mayor in the previous election.
She said the board has not properly consulted “the rest of the community” and that elected village officials have been hostile to people asking questions.
Trustees denied this characterization, saying that the lights are safe, they’ve had meetings discussing the lights, and the public was invited to presentations from their consultants.