OLEAN, NY – The city is in the process of replacing many streetlight bulbs with LED lights. The program has been authorized by the Olean Common Council and is being advanced by the mayor’s office.

“It will be LED lighting instead of mercury-vapor that was out there before,” Olean Mayor William Aiello said.   “There will be less energy consumed, and it’ll be cheaper to run the streetlights.”

This effort to replace the streetlight bulbs with LEDs was prompted by National Grid, according to both Aiello and Alderman Linda Witte.

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“Right now, the National Grid has a program where if we replace out our lights with the LED then the amount of money it takes us to replace them will get returned,” Witte said.

Aiello said that the program will eventually result in lower taxes, reflected in the electric bill of the city, for the citizens of Olean.

“Over time it will result in savings,” said Aiello. “We won’t know probably until we’re into the program, and we get a year under our belt on how much it is going to reduce the streetlight energy line.”

Aiello did caution that the effects would not likely be severe, however.

“I don’t want you to get the wrong impression here," Aiello said. "It won’t be a big tax reduction, but it will help with the increasing cost,” 

A National Grid statement discussing its LED Light Street Conversion Program listed some additional benefits of LED lighting for the streets: “LEDs have no filament, produce less heat, and are anticipated to require far less maintenance over time, They are instant on, requiring no warmup period to reach full brightness, and provide far greater color rendering, making it easier for drivers and pedestrians to recognize objects.”

Witte pointed out that because they are energy efficient, the LEDs will be a benefit to the environment as well. And she added that a number of the streetlights already been changed to LEDs.          

“We’ve already done down North Union Street and a couple other areas,” Witte said.      

There are 1289 streetlights left that will be switched to LED lights according to Aiello.          

Witte said she did not have an exact date for when the rest of the streetlights in the city will be replaced with LEDS, but she was willing to say that it would be within the next year.           

The paperwork for the program is in the process of being completed, according to Aiello, who added that after the paperwork is done, National Grid will be sending a schedule that indicates more exact dates for program completion.           

Witte also said that many of the bulbs in the streetlights of Olean were becoming outdated anyhow.

“They are blowing out,” Witte said. “I know in my ward we’ve replaced several over the past couple years with LED, which have a longer lifespan and in the long run are cheaper.”

Aiello said that Olean was happy to take advantage of the opportunity given to them by National Grid.

“The city is happy to look at any ways that we can reduce our cost and, ultimately, savings to the taxpayers of Olean,” Aiello said.

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