Kings Point considering LED light upgrade

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Kings Point considering LED light upgrade
The Village of Kings Point is hoping to upgrade its 200 light fixtures to more energy efficient LEDs. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The future might be bright for LED lights in Kings Point.

Village of Kings Point trustees discussed a plan to replace its 200 older streetlights with light emitting diode bulbs with a New York Power Authority representative on Thursday morning, in hopes of driving down energy and maintenance costs.

Currently the project is estimated to cost around $90,424, with $10,229 in annual debt service for 10 years, but also reap about $10,308 in savings each year.

Jesse Scott, a New York Power Authority representative, said the project could pay for itself in eight and a half years – while the new LED lights usually last more than 20 years.

“They’re rated for 100,000 hours, they’re on for about 4,000 hours a year, so that turns into a 25-year life cycle,” Scott said. “This is really a capital project you should have to do once.”

“The lights you have now last 10,000 hours, 15,000 hours; these last 100,000 hours,” Scott added.

The push in Kings Point is tied to Smart Street Lighting NY, an inter-agency initiative led by the New York Power Authority hoping to encourage LED streetlight technology in municipalities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when announcing the program, said he wants 500,000 streetlights installed throughout the state by 2025. He also previously said he hopes to reduce carbon emissions 50 percent by 2030, based on 1990 levels.

Kings Point is following a number of nearby municipalities implementing or actively considering installing new light fixtures.

Thomaston approved LED street lights in 2015, for example, Great Neck Plaza aims to install them, and the Village of Great Neck has replaced all of its more than 800 incandescent streetlights with LED ones.

Other North Shore villages such as North Hills, East Williston, Roslyn Harbor have also invested time in trying to get LED lights.

But the discussion also follows a Nassau County Supreme Court judge rejecting a bid to dismiss a lawsuit against the village of Great Neck.

In that lawsuit, a resident claims a light fixture shining light into her home has made it “impossible to sleep, use, and enjoy the home she has lived in for the past 28 years.”

Scott, when asked about perceived health effects of the LED lights, said a study done by the American Medical Association last year had concerned people because of an impact on the circadian rhythm and general health.

But, he said, the study looked at prolonged and direct exposure rather than how they’d be implemented in Kings Point.

“When they’re designed properly, LED light is very directional, and it’s supposed to illuminate the roadway for safety, for pedestrians, for vehicles,” Scott said. “And that’s what we do during our design.”

“LED street lights were approved by the state [as] not hazardous,” Scott later added.

Scott also discussed the possibility of a smart system that would allow for the potential dimming of lights, installing manual dimming knobs, and a contingency portion of the project that could allow the village to do something like install a camera on a pole.

“We have a lot of flexibility with the scope and the design,” Scott said.

Stephen Limmer, the village attorney, said the village had been in discussions with a company about potentially upgrading the lights.

But Limmer said this could be “materially cheaper” and NYPA talked about more potential features with the installation.

The proposal will likely be discussed at a board meeting on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8:15 p.m.

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