By Jillian Jorgensen
SALEM — The lights at a baseball diamond in Michele Memorial Park may be getting brighter, but the electric bill will actually be going down.
"With the new technology they have, it's supposed to use half of the energy of the old lights," recreation director Chris Dillon said. "There are actually fewer lights than were up there in the past, but it's supposed to provide the same and or more light than it did in the past."
The new lights at Joe Bergeron Field are being paid for with $35,000 from a federal energy efficiency community block grant, according to community development director Bill Scott.
"The purpose is to reduce the costs of ball field lighting through energy efficient products," Scott said.
The total grant was for $131,000, Scott said, the bulk of which went to install LED lights at all the town's fire stations. Another portion is being used for an energy audit of Town Hall, Scott said, to determine how much it would cost to upgrade lighting there.
Dillon said the new fixtures provide more lighting by using reflective visors that focus the light exactly where it should go. This will also minimize the amount of light that spills beyond the ball fields — something neighbors have been enthusiastic about. The grant purchased the cost of the lights and Salem Youth Baseball is helping to pay for the installation, Dillon said. They also pay the energy bill for the lights. Dillon said the new lights benefit the town, the baseball league and the environment.
"It's just an exciting project," he said.
The lights on a larger, 90-foot diamond in the park were upgraded to similar technology last year.
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