Port tests LED streetlights, want feedback from motorists

n Officials like what they see on Wisconsin St. but want to know what drivers think
By 
By KRISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

Motorists driving on North Wisconsin Street in Port Washington are being urged to check out the streetlights.

Public Works Director Rob Vanden Noven told the Common Council last month that the city recently converted the street lights between Walters and Whitefish to LED bulbs.

“We have been replacing several lights on North Wisconsin Street as a pilot program. In my opinion, they fit very well,” he said. 

But, Vanden Noven said, “We want to get feedback. We want to get this right.”

The city wants to avoid a situation like the one it encountered years ago, when it took several tries to get the lighting in downtown adjusted to the proper levels, he said.

Street Dept. Commissioner J.D. Hoile, who told the Board of Public Works about the change, said the LED bulbs seem to be just as effective as other streetlights in the city.

“They’re definitely a little whiter light,” he said. “If you drive down the road and don’t look up, you won’t notice the difference.”

Ald. Mike Gasper, a member of the board, said he had done just that.

“I didn’t notice,” he said.

Jason Wittek, a member of the Works Board, said he often walks at night on St. Mary’s Hill, where several other streetlights have been converted to the LED bulbs.

“I’ve had no problem,” he said.

The city is considering replacing the 150-watt, high-pressure sodium lights on the streetlights it owns with 45-watt LED lights.

These lights are found on North and South Wisconsin streets, Grand Avenue from Summit Drive west to Jackson Road, in portions of downtown and in the Woods at White Pines subdivision.

Vanden Noven noted that the LED lights use about one-third less energy than the high-sodium lights and provide a whiter light than the yellow cast emitted by the high-pressure sodium lights.

“We’re using the softest white light available,” he said.

Vanden Noven told the Public Works Board that the LED lights would save the city roughly $50 per fixture per year, adding the light would pay for themselves in a couple of years.

And, he noted, the lightbulbs last longer than those currently used by the city.

If the city decides to convert more of its lights to the LED bulbs, Vanden Noven said, he will seek funding in the 2019 budget. Wisconsin Street and Grand Avenue would likely be targeted for the new lights first, he added.

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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