CULPEPER, Va. (WUSA9) -- Things may look a little brighter the next time you go to downtown Culpeper.
Town officials tell us that crews have started replacing high-pressure sodium bulbs with more energy efficient LED bulbs.The town's electric department tested two of the new LED bulbs in fixtures in front of the State Theatre and noted the new lights were brighter and whiter than the old bulbs.
Officials say there are 72 decorative light fixtures in the downtown area in total, but they have made some moves to cut down on costs.
According to officials in a press release:
"Instead of replacing the entire head and bulb combination, which is expensive, new technology allowed the town to purchase LED screw-in bulbs that allow the continued use of the current 'acorn' globes. The bulbs cost significantly less than replacing the entire head and bulb.
The old style sodium phosphorous bulb use about 150 watts of electricity and last two to three years. The new LEDS use 40 watts or almost one-quarter less electricity, plus they last for about 20 years."
More than 40 "cobra head" fixtures on poles along Main Street and in Highview Court were replaced last year with LED fixtures, say officials. They hope to replace all the remaining 96 mercury vapor fixtures in the system "for environmental reasons."
Additionally, officials want to replace 851 high-pressure sodium fixtures with LED bulbs. They not that it "takes time and the cost needs to be spread out over several years."
Different wattage LED bulbs will be tested in several locations to determine which ones work best for particular areas.
Not all street lights in Culpeper are town-owned; some belong to Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Dominion Virginia Power.