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A year-long collaboration to modernize downtown street lighting between the City of Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Electric Association (YVEA) begins to shine this week as new street lights are installed in the downtown area.
The majority of 25-foot intersection and 10-foot pedestrian lights will be placed along Yampa Street with some additional street lights slated for Oak, 5th and 8th Streets. The newly installed lights will be turned on as power is connected.
The new lighting fixtures are LED and dark sky compliant while also retaining the historic character of the current lighting that exists along Lincoln Avenue and the downtown area. New lighting standards can be used to convert existing lights over time without requiring a large up-front cost since the new light poles and fixtures are nearly identical to the existing downtown lights.
During the recent Green Team citizen committee efforts, streetlights were identified as one of the top consumers of electricity of city facilities. One of the goals established by the Green Team and endorsed by the City Council focused on reducing energy usage across city facilities.
LED lights use significantly less electricity than existing high pressure sodium or mercury vapor lights and require less maintenance while enjoying a longer life span than traditional lighting sources.
Some LED fixtures have been found to appear whiter than existing lighting methods. The city and YVEA spent considerable time discussing the advantages and drawbacks of lighting color signature, and the city ultimately selected an LED fixture type that closely replicates a yellow color, similar to the hue of the existing downtown lights. As the new fixtures are downcast via refraction and shrouding, light trespass will be reduced compared to current lights.
The selection of the new lighting system included consideration of cost, light trespass and lighting color signature, aesthetics and energy consumption. Once the street lights are installed, the overhead power lines and poles will be removed. Planned overhead festival lights will be installed later in the winter.
For questions related to the lighting changes, please call 970-871-7052 or email email@example.com.
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Ben Beall, City Engineer, City of Steamboat Springs – firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-871-8293
Megan Moore-Kemp, Yampa Valley Electric Association - MMoore-Kemp@yvea.com, 970-871-2268