Residents express mixed views of LED lights in Great Neck

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Residents express mixed views of LED lights in Great Neck
One of the hundreds of LED lights installed throughout the village shines down on a portion of Baker Hill Road, right near Village Hall. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

Hundreds of LED lights have brightened the roads in the Village of Great Neck as of Tuesday, but some people said the lighting has also found its way onto their property and into their homes.

While many of the residents said they understand the need for LED lighting on the streets, they also said they were falsely assured that the lights would not enter their homes and that it is affecting their sleeping habits.

One of those residents was Judith Youngblood, who has lived in her house for three decades. She said she couldn’t recall a time when it was so bright and said it has intruded on the “ambiance” of her front porch.

“There was nothing but assurances that it would not land on our properties,” Youngblood, a resident of Colgate Road, said. “My entire front lawn is white.”

Sally Garfinkel, another resident of Colgate Road, also expressed concerns. She said that she had to tape dark blankets onto her windows so she and her husband can sleep because the LED light atop a pole is at the same level as her bedroom window.

“I don’t care if they’re on the streets,” Garfinkel said, noting that she recognizes the need for them for people walking on the roads. “I just don’t want the bulbs to shine in my eyes and in my house.”

“This is very disturbing to me, you know, but I really want to give them the benefit of the doubt and hopefully they will be able to fix it so it just lights up the street,” Garfinkel added. “Quite frankly, I wish I did not have a light in front of my house.”

 

Joe Gill, the village clerk-treasurer, said on Tuesday that the installation of the LED lights is two-thirds of the way done. The lights are currently operating at full strength and the smart system is not online yet, he also said, but they expect to dial down the light intensity to around 80 percent once the initial installation is done.

Gill also said once the installation’s first phase is done, likely by Dec. 22, they would conduct a review to see what changes should be made, like installing shades to specific lights.

“Right now, the objective is to get the new lights up and then we’ll tweak it and do what we need to do when that’s completed,” Gill said.

“We’re certainly not looking to shine light directly into people’s homes, but remember, we are going from a system that is old and decayed to a system that works,” Gill added.

Some residents also expressed happiness with the lights, including David Kahen, who has resided in Great Neck for over 20 years. He said the quality of the LED lights is greater than the yellow lights used and that “the fact that streets are lit is a big plus.”

“They have improved my quality of life and in speaking with my family and friends, we all feel the same,” Kahen said.

Kahen added he feels the light installation was “done in a democratic fashion,” with the village soliciting public comment for months.

Editor’s note: This article previously included comments from a resident that were mischaracterized, and thus removed from the article.

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