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Village Plans New Lights for Neighborhood

Decorative LED lighting will provide lighting for Brayside neighborhood.

The future is looking bright for one Glen Ellyn neighborhood—literally.

Village leaders are seeking grant funding to install 100 new LED streetlamps in the Brayside subdivision. Bob Minix, the village engineer, said the subdivision only has a handful of lights in it.

“Right now there are just some lights at the intersections. Some of the areas of the neighborhood have no lighting at all,” Minix said.

Minix said he believes most street lighting will eventually be converted to LED lighting. He said the LED bulbs have a longer life than bulbs currently being used and are also more energy efficient. He said power usage for an LED bulb is about half what regular bulbs use. Minix said they hope to get about 15 years service out of the lights before any diodes have to be replaced. 

Additionally, Minix said LED bulbs do not have the disposal issues that other energy efficient bulbs, like CFL bulbs, have. He said there are no heavy metals used in LED bulbs, which allows for easy disposal.

“We are in an LED age. There’s no question the LED bulb will be moving forward in and around the village,” Minix said.

The neighborhood was chosen for the LED lighting program due to its socio-economic mix as well as the mixed housing in the area, Minix said. He said the lighting will improve the aesthetic look of the neighborhood and will also help the police as they patrol the area.

“There are some park areas in that neighborhood that don’t have any kind of lighting and this will help with visibility in those areas,” Minix said.

Minix said one of the things he likes about using LED lighting is the fact they come with a dimming unit to change lighting levels when needed. Minix said they can program the lights to be brightest from the time they come on until about midnight which is when people are most active. He said after midnight the lights can automatically dim so they do not create light pollution while people are sleeping.

But not only will the dimming be beneficial for neighborhood residents, Minix said the light reduction will also have a positive impact on energy savings for the village.

Minix estimated the cost of the lighting project at $625,000. He said the village opened bidding on the project and have received 11 bids so far. The lowest bid received so far was for $480,000, Minix said. He said some bids have come in higher than their estimated costs.

“So far we’re pleased with the bids we’re seeing. They’re kind of what we’ve been expecting as far as the range of bids,” Minix said.

Interim village manager Terry Burghard said he was not sure what the program would mean for Glen Ellyn in the long run. He said he trusts the information Minix provided and is leaving the project in his hands.

“I’m here only until they find a new village manager. Bob will be here long after and knows what will be a good project for the village,” Burghard said.

Minix said the village is seeking community development block grant funding to pay for half the project.  Before awarding the contract, Minix said the project must be approved by the village board as well as the grant provider.

Minix said they hope to have the project completed by the end of the summer.

Andrew Van Gorp April 06, 2011 at 04:46 AM
LOVE. Super energy efficient- AND they don't contribute to light pollution! Did you know your eyes register LED light as moonlight? If the entire city of chicago changed over to LEDs, you'd be able to see the milky way at night in the middle of the city! Pretty cool hu?
Alex April 06, 2011 at 09:14 AM
Such LED Lights are not bright enough and not last long.
Julie Farrell April 06, 2011 at 01:47 PM
That's fantastic! As a resident of this neighborhood, I'm ecstatic to see the village taking an interest in it over the last couple of years. The park was upgraded a couple of years ago and the underground pipes were upgraded as well, now new lights? And 100 of them! I don't know if there'll be enough room for all of them! My only complaint with this plan is that when I go jogging at night, I now have to be more aware of how I look as everyone will be able to see me now! :p
Jeffrey Gahris April 06, 2011 at 05:09 PM
LED technology has incredible potential for streetlighting. It has the advantage of saving energy, and can be turned on and off remotely to save even more energy. Having said that, be aware that 100 new lights is a lot for a neighborhood of this size. It will be much, much brighter, and energy consumption might go UP, not down. If the Village uses properly designed and installed luminaries, they will not directly shine into bedroom windows. Even then, reflection off of the pavement might create a glow throughout the neighborhood, so that it will never be dark at night. The idea is to direct just enough light to where it is actually needed, and no more, through a good design that is sensitive to the environment and the residents who live there. Let's see how it turns out. Jeff Gahris Glen Ellyn Cool Cities Coalition

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