Huntsville moving forward on 'dark skies’ resolution

Huntsville moving forward on 'dark skies’ resolution

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Huntsville’s future could be a little brighter, and maybe not in the way you think.

The City Council approved a resolution that requests information from Huntsville Utilities and other city leaders on the costs and consequences of replacing all of the city’s existing lights with LED bulbs.

Councilwoman Frances Akridge proposed the resolution and said it will help reduce light pollution and save on city street lighting costs (currently at $3 million a year).

“In the long run, we could actually reduce the amount of ambient light, when we eliminate the waste, and we’ll be able to see the stars again,” she said.

Akridge said part of the retro-fit for the LEDs would include aiming the light toward the ground, away from the sky.

In a letter to Mayor Tommy Battle, Huntsville Utilities President Wes Kelley explained, “LEDs are estimated to be 40% to 60% more energy efficient than traditional lighting technologies. Also, LEDs emit a more pleasing color of light, can be better focused on the area requiring illumination, and have a longer lifespan than a typical incandescent light bulb.”

Kelley said there are an estimated 25,000 lights in the city, and it would cost roughly $12 million to $15 million to make the change.

The resolution asks Huntsville Utilities to have a more accurate cost assessment by April 2020.

Its spokesman said it’s unclear what (if any) affect implementing the LEDs would have on electricity rates.

Copyright 2019 WAFF. All rights reserved.