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Newtown Township may upgrade to LED streetlights


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution to move the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission’s LED Streetlight Procurement Program to the design phase.

The township previously consulted with the commission to research costs of converting the municipality’s streetlights to LEDs. According to a representative from Keystone Lighting Solutions, who works in tandem with the commission, the project is simply a streetlight upgrade program that approximately 70 Philadelphia-area municipalities have participated in over the last five years and that they’ve realized cost savings from reduced energy output and lower maintenance outlays.

He added that LED lights are significantly more controllable, meaning light can be kept from going up into the sky which is important for dark sky considerations among local and state regulations. LEDs enable light to be focused on roadways and sidewalks which maximizes efficiency and safety.

The project will give the township design capability for the streetlights as DVRPC has already gone out and procured all the materials and professional services that will be needed for installation. As a result, costs are significantly below market level, according to the representative.

In Newtown Township, the scope of the project is nearly 500 light fixtures to convert, including 152 “cobra head” luminaire fixtures (overhand L-shaped lights) and about 1,300 four-sided colonial fixtures that encompass more decorative varieties of lighting found in many residential areas.

The LED conversion only requires a new bulb and accompanying wiring as the poles the lights sit on are able to handle the new lighting.

The total cost of the design phase would be more than $37,000 with a large chunk of that coming from an audit for the project from Keystone Lighting Solutions. If the township decides to move forward implementation, construction would start either at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

LEDs generally have a 40-year lifespan but realistically will last anywhere from 20-30 years before needing to be replaced.

The cost of the project would be covered by a 16-year loan that the township has the flexibility to pay back.

Supervisor Kyle Davis expressed concern over the cost of the project despite being supportive of the switch to LED lights.

Local participating municipalities include Newtown Borough, Bensalem, Tullytown, Middletown, Buckingham, Langhorne Manor, Ivyland, New Hope and Penndel.

The township now has several months to decide whether it would like to proceed with a base upgrade for about $700,000 or an automated controllable system for more than $1 million.

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