Town goes LED
Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Dan Losquadro’s Traffic Safety division has changed over 1,500 bulbs at about 121 traffic control devices throughout Brookhaven. The project began this past summer and by the end of the year, the entire town of Brookhaven will have LED-operated traffic signals.
LED fixtures have been installed locally in Medford at Miller Place/Yaphank Road northbound, Bellport Avenue at the Long Island Expressway North and South service roads; in Patchogue at Hospital Road at the Sunrise Highway South Service Road and at Traction Boulevard by Canaan Elementary School; in Mastic on Mastic Road at Pawnee Avenue, at the Mastic Fire Department and at Herkimer Street. The total cost of the project averages about $100,000, according to Losquadro’s office. “Regardless of that total dollar figure, we’re going to make that in energy savings in a little over a year, tops, and that will be reoccurring savings for us,” Losquadro said.
“We’ll have savings up to 80 percent or better on our energy costs,” he added. “It is really a tremendous gain for the department and for taxpayers.” Most residents don’t realize the cost charged to the town by the utility companies to power these lights, he said. Losquadro’s office estimated that utilizing an incandescent bulb at a larger traffic light totals about $200 in electricity a month, whereas the new LED bulbs are averaging about $35 per month.
Every traffic and flashing warning signal has been tackled; streetlights, however will take a bit longer. The town will replace them when they die out.
Hinck Electric, a contractor the town has used for many years, installs and maintains the traffic signals. Replacing and installing the bulbs, Losquadro said, was a fairly simple task. They were retrofitted directly into the existing light fixtures.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine sponsored the project and applauded Losquadro for his hard work and innovative project. The town, Romaine said, funded the project willingly, knowing the eco-friendly traffic lights will pay for themselves and be far more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs.
“This is a tremendous project,” he said. ”Reducing our carbon footprint and reducing costs to taxpayers is exactly what we want to do as a town.”
Aside from the cost and energy efficiency, Losquadro said the bulbs have at least the same equivalent or more output than incandescent lights; they are easier to see and also have lenses that tend to reduce glare. Most importantly, the life expectancy is 25 times longer than an incandescent bulb and doesn’t die out, but rather slowly fades. The LED bulbs are warrantied to last at least 10 years; he said he anticipated the new bulbs to last over 20 years.
The LED light bulb is made up of multiple diodes; if one begins to fade, the others continue to work until eventually they all fade out. Incandescent lights have one filament that eventually quits. The new lights enable the town’s safety division to plan for replacements. When an old bulb died out, it caused an unsafe traffic issue that required immediate attention and created uncontrolled intersections. “Really it is just a much better product that marks a significant change in municipality infrastructure,” Losquadro said.
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