Thursday, December 8, 2011
Stars will shed a brighter, warmer light throughout Fort Oglethorpe due to action taken last week by the City Council.
The council approved a request by City Manager Ron Goulart to spend up to $7,500 for replacement bulbs for the ornaments that decorate utility poles along LaFayette Road/U.S. Highway 27 and Battlefield Parkway/State Route 2.
“Between now and New Year’s, look at the difference between the stars and angels,” said Jeff Long, the city’s director of public works and recreation. “We’ve replaced lights on the stars with warmer color-temperature LED bulbs.”
The new bulbs are not only warmer and better at showing off the ornament they depict, they will also markedly save the city money over the course of several years.
“They are more expensive, about $1 a bulb, than an incandescent, but they have a rated life of about 750,000 hours,” Long said. “The old bulbs might be less expensive, but they burn out sooner, which means we have the cost of a new bulb and have to pay someone to work at night and replace them. Plus, some just break when we move the ornaments and they bump together.”
The city has about 150 ornaments, each of which has about 110 bulbs, and some have had light emitting diodes rather than incandescent bulbs for a few holiday seasons.
“I’d been buying a few each year,” Long said. “North Georgia Electric sets a meter on one decoration and multiplies that useage by the number of ornaments we install. We could tell a big difference in energy use when we began the transition.”
Because they are so inexpensive to operate and have such a long life, Long said the lights can be left on around the clock and still cost less to operate over their lifetime.
“Next year, everything will have the warmer LED bulbs,” he said.