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New lights have softer glow in downtown Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – I’ve heard the jokes for years, that downtown Albion resembled an air strip at night when the tall lights were shining bright.

The village has swapped out most of the Main Street lights with newer LED lights that village officials say use about a tenth of the energy for the same shine. The village also replaced the globes on about 30 lights.

I wanted to see what the new lights looked like at night. I went out tonight and I think they’re an improvement. The light seems mostly focused downward, with some sidelight. That’s quite a contrast from the previous lights that sent light in every direction.

I couldn’t unearth a before-picture from my Albion archives, but I remember how the sides of the buildings, often on the second floor, had so much light on them with the old lights.

Those lights also directed light upwards, giving the air strip impression. I don’t think that’s the case anymore.

The village soon should have some potted trees, bike racks, and other street-scape improvements as part of a Main Street grant, which will make downtown even more appealing.