In the Aug. 9 Great Neck Record, letter writer Judy Shore Rosenthal accuses Village of Great Neck Mayor Bral of “indifference” to the residents he represents. This accusation, in my opinion, is as unfair as it is inaccurate and, therefore, strongly merits a reply. What is the reason for Mrs. Rosenthal’s wrath? The mayor and the village board have decided to replace the village’s badly worn out and expensive-to-operate street lights with modern LED lights that will save the village at least $100,000 annually, as well as upgrade the inadequate nighttime lighting conditions that now prevail throughout the village. Mrs. Rosenthal asserts that the LED lights will be too blue and too bright for people with sensitive eye conditions.
Let’s look at the facts. The village’s project is being implemented by experienced lighting experts who have carefully surveyed the village’s lighting situation. As explained in a public presentation, these experts are aware of the limitations placed on “blue-light” exposure by some medical authorities and are considering proposed lighting specifications with that in mind. Each light will be considered with regard to its output. The village’s project involves a partnership with the lighting experts who, at reduced to cost to the village, will install a sophisticated system of electronic controls to manage the light output of each and every light in the system. Among other things, each light’s output can be reduced from a central location. The lighting consultants want to make Great Neck a showcase for what modern lighting technology can do. Alarmism with regard to this project is hardly warranted. And the village is pursuing this project in a very careful and responsible manner.
Of course, folks with light-sensitive eye conditions should be considered. But what about sunlight during daylight hours? Then, everyone is advised to use protective lenses. But the village’s project will not, during nighttime hours, illuminate the village anywhere near the level of daylight illumination. A sample of LED illumination is on display on Baker Hill Road across from Village Hall, between Ruxton Road and just west of the corner of Cambridge Road. One of the lights that will be used is mounted very high on a utility pole and casts its light downward in a wide cone of indirect light. And, it will be dimmable.
It should be noted that our Park District has already installed LED lights at the Parkwood skating rink. The only thing one would notice is that the place is illuminated well and comfortably. Similar lighting is being planned for the district’s indoor tennis facility. Finally, contrary to what Mrs. Rosenthal implies in her letter, Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth has not made any comment or taken any position with regard to the Village of Great Neck’s LED lighting project.