New LED lights will replace the current metal halide lights on Second Avenue in Fernie.

New LED lights will replace the current metal halide lights on Second Avenue in Fernie.

Bright lights, little city

New energy efficient LED lights are coming to downtown Fernie.

Brighter, more energy efficient lights will be installed in downtown Fernie.

Fernie’s city council voted to replace the current 175 and 100-watt metal halides with 50-watt LED lights.

“The intent of the whole program is to improve the quality of light and reduce energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce maintenance,” said Terry Nelson, senior engineering tech for the city.

LED technology is supposed to be a more directed, brighter light, thus increasing safety while reducing light pollution.

Before all the LED light fixtures are installed, there will be a test run on a small section of Second Avenue. This will allow a comparison between the old and new fixtures. The test should be finished by October 15 with the rest of the lights being installed shortly after.

Council voted on July 9 to go ahead with Cook’s Electrical’s $80,000 bid. The costs of the retrofit will be covered by the federal gas tax rebate.

The bid includes updating the 400-watt pulse start metal halides above the ice surface at Fernie Memorial Arena with 250-watt induction lamps. The new lights are slated for installation before August 13 when the arena opens and will not have to warm up like the halides and will be more energy efficient.

In addition, the florescent light fixtures in the majority of Fernie’s public buildings will be replaced with more energy efficient florescent lights including the court house, library, senior drop in centre, chamber of commerce, curling club, and community centre.