Starting this fall, residents of Chelan County may notice changes to night-time lighting. The Chelan PUD is working with the five cities in the county to convert their streetlights to LED lamps.
About 3,750 lights will be replaced, most of them in Wenatchee, as well as Cashmere, Leavenworth, Entiat and Chelan.
The PUD says benefits include better lighting, reduced maintenance costs long-term, a drop in light pollution and energy savings –about $1.40 per light each month. Cashmere Mayor Jim Fletcher told KOHO that’s several hundred dollars a month in savings for Cashmere.
Chelan PUD is helping the cities with design and managing the project and construction. The PUD says the lamps cast a warm light with a softer glow that reduces the amount of harsh blue light.
The utility is also working with National Park Service scientists to measure the artificial light that obscures the night sky in Chelan County before and after the new lights are installed.
The picture above, courtesy ChelanPUD.org, shows the amount of artificial light above Wenatchee measured from the top of Burch Mountain on May 7. The color scale of the black and white image shows the intensity of artificial light compared to the amount of natural light.
The change-over should be complete county-wide before the end of the year.