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Fairfield’s Town Council discusses LED street light conversion

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FAIRFIELD — The Town Council discussed the possibility of moving forward with a project to convert the town’s streetlights to LED lights at Wednesday evening’s meeting.

According to estimates provided by Steve Lieber, president of Affinity LED Lighting, the projected cost of converting the town’s 330 streetlights comes out to roughly $207,060 for installation, equipment and network costs. By the same token, the investment would save Fairfield about $59,000 annually because of the low energy usage and minimal maintenance LED lights require.

“Not only is converting to LED lights good for the environment, but it’s also fiscally responsible,” Lieber said. “It’s good for the community.”

Lieber claimed that the benefits of LED streetlights go past just financial and environmental advantages. According to him, the bulbs and the angles of the lights provide improved clarity and brightness, allowing for better safety conditions on the roadways and sidewalks, despite producing fewer lumens than traditional street lights. Additionally, Affinity’s streetlights are paired with a network operating system that allows the lights to be monitored and for officials to be notified when or if any malfunctions arise.

“The central management system can be brought up on a computer and displays a detailed map of the streetlights,” Lieber said. “The network sets off alarms if a streetlight goes out. That way it can be immediately addressed.”

Affinity LED Lighting is based in Dover, New Hampshire, and has worked with 38 communities on commercial, municipal and streetlight conversion projects. If Fairfield decides to move forward with conversion, it will become one of the eight to 10 communities in Maine that have opted to switch to LED streetlights. As far back as December, central Maine communities such as GardinerVassalboro and Augusta all approved funds for their own streetlight conversion projects.

Because one council member was absent from Wednesday night’s meeting, the decision to approve or reject the plan for streetlight conversion has been delayed until the next Town Council meeting, scheduled for July 10.

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