ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The city of Elmira is about to finish a decade-long project to replace all residential street lights with more energy-efficient LEDs. “The city of Elmira enacted the street lighting program about 10 years ago, trying to convert every area of the city to LED lighting to save on utility costs and to save on maintenance of the light bulb,” said Kyle Sullivan, the city’s Supervisor of Building & Grounds and Sanitation.

“So we’ve been doing this for about 10 years getting about 400 lights a year to try to complete this project. This year should be the last year. So the next 400 lights that we have coming should finish all the residential city conversion,” said Sullivan. The city of Elmira has a total of 43,041 residential street lights.

At a City Council meeting on February 27, 2023, a resolution stated the contract for the last 400 lights was awarded to Booth Electric Supply at a price of $70,344. Sullivan says the lights will be installed at various locations across Elmira.

“They’re kind of random throughout the city. We used to try to do it based on council approval. Council would submit where they wanted some of the lights to go. Then we just kind of felt like it wasn’t really targeting enough areas, so they’re kind of scattered, but it’s it’s a smaller area now that we have to do.”

Sullivan says the new lights will save money for both the city and taxpayers. “It’ll end up saving everybody in the end. Obviously tax money comes in and it goes to what we provide for the taxpayers in the city of Elmira. So if we’re having energy efficient cost savings that money reflects into the budget and it will save people money on that,” said Sullivan.

“The lights that we had before were HPS, which is a high pressure sodium light. They were 100 watt, 150 watt, 250 watt or 400 watt light bulbs. We’ve got them down now to where 100, 150 watts are actually using 42 watts. The 250 watt bulbs switched to an 80 watt, and the 400 watts are now at 100 watt. So it’s a brighter light, it’s a better light with less energy usage,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan says he expects the last 400 lights to be ready for installation in 6 to 8 weeks. He expects the project to be completed before the end of the summer.

Sullivan says once all residential lights are converted to LED, the city will focus on converting street lights in front of businesses. “We do still have some areas that we’re working on changing in the commercial district, but residential wise, yes, they’ll be completed,” said Sullivan.