Florida Power & Light is replacing nearly 300 streetlights on Siesta Key roads with new 'smart light' fixtures.
Visitors to Siesta Key will see the light next month — LED light, that is.
At Thursday’s Siesta Key Association meeting, representatives for Sarasota County and Florida Power & Light discussed plans to outfit 296 streetlights on the island with new LED lighting fixtures. Work on the lights, which FPL owns, is scheduled to begin the week of July 23.
FPL representatives said the new lights would come with multiple benefits. Because they’re more energy efficient, the lights will cost $3,264.84 less to power annually — a 9.8% cost reduction. The lights will be linked to a system that alerts workers when a streetlight is failing, enabling FPL to be more responsive to outages.
They also said the lights will provide better optics. The LED light is more natural looking, according to Eric Culling of FPL Energy Services, eliminating the orange hues of the existing high-pressure sodium lights.
“You’re not going to know that much has changed,” Culling said. “But you’ll say, ‘Wow, I can see everything better; I don’t quite know why.’”
Attendees at the Siesta Key Association meeting asked whether the county would consider installing LED light fixtures on the streetlights it owns on the island, particularly within Siesta Key Village.
“It’s hard to see people in the crosswalks in the village,” Siesta resident Bob Luckner said.
Lisa Cece, the county’s special district coordinator, said the county is undertaking an energy audit, which will produce recommendations and cost projections for potential streetlight changes. She said budget challenges will force the county to be cautious about making major expenditures, though.
That makes the prospect of changing the lights in Siesta Key Village challenging, because streetlights there are outfitted with special fixtures that don’t allow for a simple swap.
“The village right now is more complicated, because it’s a decorative fixture,” Cece said. “It’s something we’ll look at eventually, but right now, I’m not sure what options we really have.”