The Wellesley Natural Resources Commission (NRC) is reminding residents to give feedback on the town’s public lighting decisions by responding to the current Municipal Light Plant survey on proposed LED (light emitting diode) streetlights by Friday, October 13.
This survey was sent to residents through regular mail and is available online here.
In the coming months, the MLP plans to install 3,000 new streetlights throughout town to greatly improve energy efficiency and save money on electricity. These new fixtures are expected to last at least 20 years.
“We are excited about this once-in- a-generation opportunity to ensure that our streetlight fixtures are as environmentally friendly as possible, while maintaining safety standards and improving the character of the town. We are grateful to the MLP for initiating this important project,” said Raina McManus, chair of the NRC.
Light from the new fixtures will be very different from the light cast by the current high-pressure sodium lights. The MLP has installed two of the LED fixtures under consideration on Croton and Pine Streets; the light poles for these pilot streetlights have been marked with colored tape.
Residents are asked to visit the area after dark, bringing the survey with them to record their thoughts. The NRC has been concerned about the effects of light pollution for a long time and recently sponsored an outdoor lighting workshop with expert Bob Parks of the Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance. At the workshop, Parks recommended that residents consider various factors when assessing light fixtures for streets and home exteriors, including:
Color – Warmer lighting helps preserve neighborhood character and ambiance.
Visual comfort and glare – A fixture that includes a filter can diffuse light and reduce glare.
Light trespass – Make sure lighting is fully shielded and does not spill into neighboring yards and windows.
A videotape of Parks’ presentation including an outdoor LED lighting demonstration is available on the NRC website.