Town officials have approved a contract with a Brookfield-based company for work that’s expected to make the decorative lampposts that illuminate downtown New Canaan more environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
The Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting approved a $4,038.75 contract with Efficient Lighting & Maintenance Inc. that will see new light-emitting diode or ‘LED’ lights and “astronomical timers” installed on the lampposts.
The new timers will be programmed to turn the lights on and off at pre-programmed times, rather than having them go and off now based on sensors that often “go bad over time,” according to Bill Oestmann, buildings superintendent with the New Canaan Department of Public Works.
“We are constantly chasing [the photosensors]” Oestmann told the Board of Selectmen at its March 21 meeting, held at Town Hall. “It gets costly.”
The existing photosensors could be tripped by passing headlights that make them “believe” it’s daytime, meaning the lampposts would switch off at night for a period of time, officials said.
With the new timers, everything is controlled by latitude and longitude and the day of the year, so that the lampposts will illuminate in one shot at sundown, and switch off again at dawn, officials said.
That functionality, together with the use downtown-wide of the energy-saving LED light bulbs, will save the town money—about $20,000 in energy costs over five years, according to Oestmann.
With a $1,615.50 financial incentive from Eversource, the net cost of the project for the town is $2,423.25, officials said.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectmen Beth Jones and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract.
Jones asked whether all the non-LED lights would be switched over to the longer-lasting bulbs at the same time that the new timers are installed (yes), whether the town or contracted company will perform that work (them) and whether the existing LED bulbs in town would be changed to a uniform type as part of the change (yes).
According to Oestmann, the town ran a “pilot program” during which some of the lampposts downtown were using LED bulbs of various colors, to find out whether anyone objected to their use—nobody did.
Mallozzi noted that the photosensors now in place had not been working consistently throughout downtown.
Oestmann said the upgrade in technology will make the town look more “crisp and clean, especially for the holiday season.”
“Plus it’s a savings,” he said.