Toward a greener community: Amherst considers switching to LED lighting

Darrell Cole
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AMHERST - Amherst may be about to get a bit more environmentally-friendly.
The town is applying for funding under the Municipal Clean Air and Climate Change Program and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to convert its street lights in the industrial park to LED lighting.
"We have been in discussions with C-Vision on the subject of LED street lights. They have developed a product that is viewed as the future and the new standard for street lighting today," Community and Economic Development director Roger MacIsaac said in a report to Amherst council. "This product has been in the design and development stage for the past year and is just weeks away from going to market."
The town owns 73 working high pressure sodium street lights in the industrial park. The town's annual power costs to operate these lights is about $4,200 with maintenance costs of about $4,860 per year.
The energy cost for LED lighting is roughly half that of high pressure sodium, meaning the town's power bill for the lights would be about $2,012. In addition, the design life for the LED fixtures is 20 years with no bulb replacement.
If successful, the town would receive most of the funding for conversion from he FCM program and climate change program. The town's share would be 20 per cent of the conversion costs - estimated at $108,000.
Chuck Cartmill of C-Vision said this project will probably be part of a larger test with various partners.
He said C-Vision's LED fixture lasts five times longer than high pressure sodium and reduction of hazardous substances compliant in that it has no mercury in its lamps or lead in the solder. These items are deposited in landfills every four years on average with lamp changes.
C-Vision is currently converting four existing street lights adjacent to its offices on Tantramar Crescent as a test project for a major U.S.-based customer.
Data gathered from the test site will help drive the marketability of this new technology.
The company received a $2.1-million loan from ACOA's Atlantic Innovation Fund in January 2007 to research energy-efficient LED roadway lighting. The company has also invested a lot of its own capital in the project.
C-Vision has partnered with Dalhousie University and the University of Moncton on the project whose main objective was to successfully develop, design and manufacture a LED-based roadway lighting system to replace mental halide and low-pressure sodium lamps.

Organizations: Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Amherst council, C-Vision Atlantic Innovation Fund Dalhousie University University of Moncton

Geographic location: U.S.

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