Oakland considers switch to LED street lights

The conversion would save the town money and give Oakland a more unified look.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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If you’re driving around Oakland at night, chances are you’ve noticed the variation in street lights.

The streets in historic Oakland have cobra lights positioned high up on wooden poles. Arrington Street is lighted with a shoebox style. Some of the newer subdivisions, such as Winters Landing and Southern Oaks, have the short, decorative acorn lights atop metal poles. Oakland Park has a combination of acorn lights and open birdhouse LED lights.

In the Longleaf neighborhood under construction, plans call for the installation of top-hat LED lights on Colonial poles.

In October, the Oakland Town Commission discussed lighting standards in the town, and Town Planner Jay Marder solicited a proposal from Duke Energy for replacing the town’s existing street lights with a newer and more energy-efficient LED street light.

However, town staff isn’t certain which lights belong to the town as opposed to individual homeowners associations. Marder told elected officials at the Jan. 22 Town Commission meeting he is waiting for Duke Energy to provide a lighting map and then he will present his findings to commissioners.

They could then request that Duke upgrade all of the town’s lights, allow the diversity to continue while encouraging new residential developers to use LED lights that are dark-sky compliant and encourage but not require fixtures with hats or lidded bulbs to comply with the dark-sky program.

Dark-sky communities use lighting that minimizes glare while reducing sky glow.

Oakland would not have to pay additional funds for the conversion to LED, which are more efficient and give off a clearer light, Marder said.



• Under the consent agenda, commissioners certified CPH Inc., CPWG Inc. and DRMP Inc. as pre-qualified firms to assist in the town’s various planning, technical and design needs. Town Manager Steve Koontz will enter into negotiations with each of the firms to reach a Continuing Professional Engineering Agreement.

• Commissioners agreed to write a letter of support to the Department of Environmental Protection for the Oakland Nature Preserve, which is seeking a Recreational Trails Program grant of up to $400,000 to help replace the planking and upper portion of the elevated boardwalk to Lake Apopka. The 3,100-foot-long boardwalk was built in 2002 using wood planks, which, over time, have warped or been damaged by weather. ONP Director Jennifer Hunt said dangerous boards are replaced weekly.

The preserve would use the money to replace the boards with composite decking that should reduce maintenance costs and extend the life of the boardwalk.

The commission also approved allowing ONP to use town funds and staff to support the payment of invoices and reimbursement from the state for the project.

• Mayor Kathy Stark proclaimed Feb. 16, 2019, Jim Thomas Day in the town of Oakland. The proclamation will be presented to Thomas during the Oakland Nature Preserve’s open house that day.

• Elected officials, by consensus, granted Eagle Scout candidate Caleb Farr, of Boy Scout Troop 145, permission to move forward with his project to construct a memorial to soldiers and/or other heroes in the community. The memorial would be erected in the northeast quadrant of Speer Park and would include four monuments — one each for military members and, possibly, mayors, police chiefs and notable residents — as well as a walkway, benches and flagpole with solar lights. The town’s cost would be installing a sidewalk extension to the project and providing staff to oversee the construction.

• The commission confirmed Commissioner Joseph McMullen as the delegate to MetroPlan Orlando’s Municipal Advisory Committee for another year.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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