Somerville Aiming to Convert All Public Lights to LED

A funding request before the Somerville Board of Aldermen would allow the conversion of every city-owned streetlight and other light fixtures to energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. City officials say the effort would pay for itself in savings within five years and advance Somerville’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The current funding request before the Board is for $2,475,000. After a $619,000 rebate from Eversource for installing the LED lights, the net cost of changing all city-owned lights would total an estimated $1,486,585. Officials say that using the energy-efficient LED bulbs in street, decorative and external city building lights would save an estimated $450,000 annually and reduce CO2 emissions by 600 metric tons per year.

“This is a common sense step the city can take that’s better for both our residents’ wallets and the environment,” says Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “In addition to those benefits, the quality of light from LED bulbs is superior to sodium light bulbs and, because of their design, we’ll have better directional control over our lights.”

Curatone says that LED streetlights will be focused on illuminating public ways instead of “bleeding into residents’ homes or the night sky.” LED streetlights are currently being piloted in Somerville along Putnam Street, on Highland Avenue from School Street to Walnut Street, and on Pearl Street between McGrath Highway and Cross Street. East Broadway streetlights already use LED light bulbs.

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