2009-02-14 / Top News

70 New Globes To Light Mackinac Island Streets

By Ryan Schlehuber

Seventy new light globes will replace old downtown streetlights on Mackinac Island, and incandescent lights will be used instead of compact florescent or light emitting diode (LED) lights, which were being evaluated.

The Mackinac Island City Council, at its meeting Wednesday, January 28, decided to purchase 75 new globes and keep five of them as spares. The city opted for incandescent lights after it reviewed the newer technology, which was thought to be more cost and energy efficient. But an LED light on the boardwalk was not thought to be attractive and two of the five compact florescent lights being evaluated on Main Street are no longer working. The city thinks the lights may not work well in cold weather, but isn't sure.

Each of the new globes costs $122, and the total price, including shipping, will be $11,000, which will be paid from the city's general fund, said Mayor Margaret Doud. The city's old globes are not replaceable and it can no longer find lamp poles similar to the ones it is using.

"We are desperate to do something right now because we have no supply of globes left," said Kelly Bean, Mayor Doud's assistant.

The globes will reflect the light down to the street, but not into the sky, reducing light pollution, and once new posts are selected, they can be manufactured to fit the globes, Ms. Bean said.

"What we do now can be continued into the future," she noted.

The design of the new globes is the same design as those the city purchased in 2006.

The city will replace the worst-looking globes on Market Street and along the boardwalk with the best-looking globes retrieved from the downtown area and will keep some old globes as reserves, said Ms. Bean.

Incandescent lights reflected toward the street will provide good lighting, said Councilman Dan Wightman, an employee of Edison Sault Electric Company.

"The visual impact of these globes and reflecting devices will really change the look of the downtown area," he said. "With those reflectors, evenings on the streets are going to look a lot better."

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