By Kieran O’Mahony
CORK County Council has committed to funding the upgrading of the public lighting on the seven inhabited islands in Cork, with the most modern energy-saving lighting options.
The project will involve the replacement of all of 113 existing public lights on the islands, with their Light Emitting Diode (LED) equivalents.
The expected accumulative energy cost savings could be in the region of €50,000 within 10 years, and rising to over €120,000 within 25 years.
The islands covered by this project include Cape Clear Island, Heir Island, Long Island, Sherkin Island, Dursey Island, Whiddy Island and Bere Island.
The cost of the project will be in the region of €70,000 which will be funded independently of the Public Lighting Programme, using separate the West Cork development contributions fund.
The new lighting will bring with it significant cost savings as LED lighting consumes significantly less energy than conventional lighting, and there is no warm-up period required to get the lights to full capacity, unlike conventional lighting.
The LED lighting has proven to be extremely durable and low maintenance and the lantern itself is made up of a number of cells, so that even if one fails, the light should remain lighting at a lesser output until such time as more favourable weather conditions would allow the hoist lorry to cross to the islands.
Cork County Council has sought an estimate from the public lighting maintenance contractor, Airtricity Solutions, to upgrade public lighting on the islands, in light of maintenance issues which arose last winter and to address concerns raised by the ESB in relation to maintenance techniques.