Phyllis Theermann

As you may have heard, new streetlights are coming to Wellesley. The Municipal Light Plant is planning to replace the town’s 3,000 cobrahead streetlights with energy and cost saving LED (light emitting diode) fixtures. This fall, the MLP will pilot these LED fixtures on selected streets to gather public input. Join the Natural Resources Commission at a free workshop to get information that will help you determine the best outdoor lighting for your home and neighborhood.

Research has shown that artificial light can create light pollution that affects human health, and has adverse consequences for trees and plants, birds, turtles, bats, and even fireflies. To help inform residents about outdoor lighting, the Natural Resources Commission is hosting a workshop with lighting expert Bob Parks of Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance. 

“Bright Ideas: A Workshop on Smart Outdoor Lighting,” will include and outdoor demonstration of LED lighting options.

Tuesday September 26
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Wellesley Free Library

The “Bright Ideas” workshop will help you: evaluate different types of lighting; choose the correct lighting for your property; make sure your lights improve safety; choose environmentally friendly lights; talk to your neighbors about lighting, and more!

Click here for more information on outdoor lighting from the Friends of Brookside.

Click here to email the NRC with comments or questions about lighting in Wellesley.

Download the flyer here.


Phyllis Theermann
alexAlex was at the local hardware store the other day picking up Holiday lights.  As many others this time of year, he was looking at LED lights versus the traditional incandescent lights.
In past years he avoided LED lights because he didn’t like the cold “blue” light they seemed to emit.  This year, however, he was happy to see that there were many options for “warm white” lights, which look very similar to the traditional incandescent mini lights.
Alex admitted he was conflicted about the price.  The LED lights still cost more than the incandescents.

The environmental side of him wanted to buy them, but the practical, yankee side wanted to buy the less expensive.

After some quick mental calculations to incorporate the energy savings of LED lights, Alex found to his delight that they aren’t more expensive after all.  It goes like this:
Incandescent LED
Cost of  string of 100 lights $5.95 $19.98
Energy Usage per Hour 40 W 8 W
Hours on per night (4:30 to 10:30pm) 6 H 6 H
Nights on per year (Dec & Jan) 61 Days 61 Days
Energy Usage per Year 14.64 kWh 2.93 kWh
Electricity Cost: 13.5 ¢/kWh 13.5 ¢/kWh
Electricity Cost per Year  $1.98  $0.40
Annual Electricity Rate of Increase (Average over last 50 years in US) 3% 3%
Total Cost over 8 years $23.52 $23.49
Warranty 1 yr 7 yrs
Over 8 years they are effectively the same price.
However, he knows that every year around the holidays when the incandescent strings come out of the box, he will find one or two that have so many bulbs out that they are unusable.

If you factor that into the economics the payback is even shorter.

The economics of LED lights inside the home are even better as you use those lights all year long.  So, if you haven’t already bought your holiday lights for the year, make the smart choice and buy LED.  If you have all your holiday lights up already, make the switch next year and start looking inside your home for other lights to switch.

As you probably have heard, the Town of Wellesley is making the switch too.

Happy Holidays to all.