Bucksport installing LED lights on waterfront walkway

BUCKSPORT — The future of Bucksport is about to get a little brighter. Sometime within the next two weeks, workers from Allard Electric will begin to replace many of the lights on the waterfront walkway with light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

The LEDs will be brighter, more efficient and longer-lasting than the current bulbs, which should help the town save money on its electric bill in the future.

“The good thing is that they save energy and that they’re very long-lasting,” said Town Manager Susan Lessard. “That alone makes a big difference.”

Each of the 45 LED bulbs for Bucksport’s walkway costs $90, but the town got a hefty $65-per-bulb rebate from the Efficiency Maine Trust.

“The town could recoup the net cost of the fixtures within a year and a half,” Lessard said.

With every bulb, the town will install a hat-like fixture that will direct light straight down onto the walkway rather than up into the sky.

“Using the LEDs and the hats will reduce light pollution and improve the light quality on the walkway.” Lessard said. “Saving money is an incidental byproduct of that.”

A few of the LEDs and fixtures have already been installed near the footbridge by the Veterans Memorial. Once the rest of the fixtures are up, the walkway will look a bit different.

“If you look at the walkway now, the lights have an orange-y halo around it,” Lessard said. “With the LED and the hats, the light’s directed downward, not into the night sky where we don’t need it.”

The walkway isn’t the only place in town being switched to LEDs. Lessard said that the town also will install 130 LEDs in the town office and 190 in the public safety building.

“That is significant since both the town office and public safety building utilize a lot of electricity,” Lessard said.

According to the Department of Energy, LED lights can last 25,000 hours (11.4 years if the lights are used six hours a day). That’s 15,000 hours longer than compact-fluorescent lights, and 24,000 hours longer than traditional incandescent lights.

“We’re excited,” Lessard said. “The council was very supportive of this program and decided to just bite the bullet and use a reserve fund to do the walkway, the town office and public safety this year.”

David Roza

David Roza

David grew up in Washington County, Maryland, has reported in Washington County, Oregon, and now covers news in Hancock County and Washington County, Maine for The American and Out & About.
David Roza

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