By Dr. C. J. Abraham
In response to Rebecca Rosenblatt Gilliar’s article “Cheering LEDs Is Like Applauding the Coming of a Tsunami” in the March 21 issue of the Great Neck Record, it is important to note the following:
Babylon is installing LED lights in all 13,250 of its streetlamps, reflecting a shift across Long Island for energy-efficient lighting. The additional advantage of LEDs in Babylon resulted in making the town safer. The projected annual energy savings is up to $700,000.
Smithtown installed LEDs in all of its 12,000 streetlights, saving $520,000 in energy costs annually.
Hempstead finished installing LEDs in its 50,000 streetlights last year. The projected cost savings over a 20-year period will be $43 million.
The Village of Hempstead installed 2,700 LED lights last year as part of a policing initiative.
Islip installed LED lights in all of its 25,000 streetlights, saving $1 million in energy costs annually.
Huntington installed LED lights in 16,700 of its 20,000 streetlights, savings $700,000 in utility costs annually. They plan to convert the rest of the streetlights with LED lights.
Oyster Bay installed LEDs in 10,000 to 12,000 of 18,000 to 20,000 streetlights, saving $83,000 annually, and plan to convert the rest.
Long Beach installed LEDs in 1,100 of its 1,862 streetlights, saving $182,325 annually.
Riverhead installed LEDs in 2,167 of the town’s 6,500 lights, reducing costs by half. It plans to convert the rest of the streetlights to LEDs.
Brookhaven installed LEDs in 4,000 to 5,000 of 43,000 lights, saving $200,000 in energy costs annually. The town plans to convert all 43,000 lights, installing LEDs.
North Hempstead installed LEDs in 126 streetlights; they are considering installing more as replacement bulbs.
Glen Cove installed LEDs in 100 of 1,667 streetlights, saving $5,000 to $6,000 annually. They plan to convert the rest of the streetlights to LEDs.
South Hampton installed LEDs in a small number of its 3,000 streetlights. The town is now considering installing many more.
East Hampton is considering an energy-efficient lighting program incorporating LEDs.
Shelter Island plans to install LEDs in its town’s 12 streetlights.
Southold installed LEDs in all of its 220 streetlights, saving $10,120 annually.
Professor E. Fred Schubert of the Electrical Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, stated that LED lights are less harmful to the environment than the antecedents. They do not contain the mercury of fluorescent bulbs, produce less waste by lasting longer and use less energy, which means less fossil fuel is burned. The majority of all Long Island’s electricity comes from fossil fuels.
In an effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and save money, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a Smart Streetlighting Program, calling for more than 500,000 LED streetlights to be installed throughout the state by 2025.
As expected, it is always foreseeable that a few people will complain. That is the nature of people experiencing a change. There is nothing wrong with any one of them openly making their objections known. The problem that I find disturbing is that their complaints become personal and sometimes frustrating because the change was made and we all have to accommodate and compromise to those changes.
I am fortunate enough to have an office and residence in both Great Neck and Boca Raton, FL. We have LED lighting throughout our gated communities in Florida, as we have now in the Village of Great Neck. We are able to block out lights in our bedrooms in both New York and Florida using special shades that are readily available to everyone at a reasonable cost. Therefore, by accommodating and compromising, the people who are complaining can block out all of the lighting the same way we were able to accomplish that in both Florida and in New York.
It would have cost a lot less to purchase the proper shades to block out the light than bring a lawsuit against the village’s four trustees. Furthermore, Mrs. Gilliar’s statements are technically incorrect and the use of the word “may,” as an example, does not mean technically or medically, that there is a connection between LEDs and any type of illness or injury. One should never take a subjective statement or opinions that are not peer reviewed and take them as fact. That is the fault of many of the objecting individuals who are making statements that are also not scientifically correct.
C. J. Abraham is technical director at Scientific Advisory Services, Ltd.