South

Milton switches to LED streetlights

8.3.123270879_Regional_xxsolights The difference in lighting color is evident on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016 in Easton, Mass., from the LED streetlight in the background and the high pressure sodium light in the foreground which is much more orange and less like daylight. Recently the town converted over 1,000 high pressure sodium lights to the more efficient LED street lights. (Robert E. Klein for the Boston Globe)
Globe File 2016
Can you tell the difference? The street light on the left is LED, and the one on the right is high-pressure sodium, which produces a much more orange light and less like daylight.

The town of Milton will start converting more than 3,300 street lights to LED fixtures and plans to finish this fall.

“We’d love to be done before the clocks go back,” said Town Administrator Michael Dennehy.

He said the project is expected to cost about $750,000 but will save the town both energy and money — with the annual electric bill for street lights going from $180,000 down to about $50,000.

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Dennehy, who oversaw the conversion of Boston’s street lights while public works commissioner there, said LEDs last far longer and reduce maintenance costs.

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“These should recoup some decent money for the taxpayers,” he said. “We’re looking forward to having the town greener.”

As far as complaints in other towns about the blueness of LED lights, Dennehy said the technology has improved and people will get used to them.

“It becomes the norm shortly after installation,” he said.

There’s a trend toward using LED street lights, said Patrick Roche, a clean-energy strategist at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.

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He said all of Cape Cod has been retrofitted, as well as at least 30 other municipalities in Eastern Massachusetts.

“In general, the communities that have retrofitted are seeing the energy savings and generally seem to be happy about the change,” he said.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.