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March 30, 2011 - As construction continues and the eventual completion of Lake Orion's Streetscape project grows ever nearer, area residents can be sure they will be able to see the good and the bad, day or night.

Part of the Streetscape's general improvements include the replacement of the tungsten bulbs currently in the lamps lining downtown's streets with energy efficient alternative LED bulbs. Some of the lamps, including about 50 spread between Shadbolt, Anderson, Flint and Lapeer streets have already received the update-- with about another 40 planned when completed.

DDA director Suzanne Perreault said the lights are not only brighter, but cheaper in the long run.

DDA Director Suzanne Perreault shows off one of the refitted lamp posts. (click for larger version)
"It's not really about the brighter bulbs so much as the energy efficiency," she said. "The DDA pays for all the electricity that goes into running the lamps, and the LEDs will greatly reduce our long term cost."

The savings, according to Village Manager Paul Zelenak, equal around half the amount currently paid. The installation, however, is not cheap, rounding out to almost $1,000 per lamp, yet thanks to an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLAG), the cost of the project has been significantly reduced.

"Before I got here, the DDA was moving ahead with Streetscape, and our construction firm said there were grants available through DLAG," said Perreault. "They were already planning on replacing a lot of the lights, so they decided to wrap the grant into the Streetscape and replace more."

Current events aside, both Zelenak and Perreault believe replacement of the lamps will help Lake Orion Village stay fiscally stable and technologically up-to-date. To Zelenak's understanding, the lamps will pay for themselves in three years time, while visitors to downtown will enjoy predominantly more white light, as opposed to the yellow light emitted by the current bulbs.

The lamps that have been replaced have pink ribbons tied around them, although this should not be confused with lamps that will be replaced soon which have pink tape with text tied to them.

The replacement of the the lamp posts will be complete by the end of Streetscape in July.

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