1:15 p.m., Feb. 11, 2013

Old lights less efficient:
These older streetlamp fixtures where put in when the college was originally built. Some of them still contain the original mercury vapor bulbs, which the FDA has found can be a health hazard if a part of the bulb is damaged.

Kasey M. Orr, Co-editor

New lamps to let light shine on campus

Driving down the packed column of parked cars in the lot north of Laramie County Community College, you search desperately for a spot with only minutes to get to class. Your heart leaps, and you can hardly believe your luck when you think you see an open space near the front of the row.

Then your heart breaks just as quickly as you realize the parking space is taken by an ugly, gray concrete cylinder in a muddy hole.

What is this? Why is it here? How is this possibly helpful? The answer is “streetlights.” The answer is “light and safety.”

The answer is that earlier in 2012 a company called Security Risk Management Consultants, Inc. conducted a security assessment of the campus and found the illumination of campus areas at night was severely below par.

This same assessment led to the placement of security cameras throughout the college. Currently, 57 new, state-of-the-art, LED (light-emitting diode) streetlamps will increase the overall illumination of public areas on campus at night, bringing them up to the national standard. These lamps are taller and more powerful than the old lights and are designed to shine more light toward the ground where it is needed, rather than the old sphere designs, which cast just as much light uselessly toward the sky as they did toward the parking lot and also caused more glare for those driving.

Another reason for discarding the existing lights is many still hold the original mercury vapor bulbs, which the FDA claimed can be a public health concern because of the danger of ultraviolet radiation burns to the eyes and face if the outer part of the bulbs were ever damaged.

Out with the old, in with the new:
Though currently taking up some sought-after parking spaces, these cement cylendars are the base on which the new more efficient lamp posts will soon stand.

Kasey M. Orr, Co-editor

Because these original fixtures were installed when the college was first built, that is yet another reason for their replacement.

The LED lights save energy and shine brighter by sending light in one direction, in this case down on the walkways and parking lots. The U.S. Department of Energy said a residential-used LED-style light can last 25 times longer and use 75 percent less energy than a standard incandescent light. The result is a brighter, more energy-efficient, cost-effective and safer environment walk after dark.

Of the five areas that the Security Risk Management Consultants Inc. assessment outlined, the budget was approved, for the time being, for a contract designed to complete the minimum coverage of only four of those areas, said Tim MacNamara, Physical Plant Director.

The Administration Building’s and Center for Conferences and Institutes’ parking lot as well as the one by Auto/Diesel, along the Tom Bauman Loop Road, the north parking lot and the east-west walkway from the Arp Building to Fine Arts Building are being provided with the new lighting under this plan. The final area remaining in need, according to the assessment, is the mall walkway between the LCCC buildings.

MacNamara estimated approximately 75 percent of the work is now complete, with all 57 lights expected to be in place by the end of the spring semester.