Iconic NYC ferry goes all LED, but price raises eyebrows

Nearly 650 lights in the Whitehall Terminal of the Staten Island Ferry in Manhattan, will be switched to LED at the start of August.

New York City is spending $2.6 million on replacing elderly fluorescent lighting with energy efficient LED in the Staten Island Ferry's termini.

Once the process is completed, the LED switch is expected save the city $296,000 annually. 

However, it will take nearly a decade of savings before the entire project returns the spend.

Public spaces in the St. George and Whitehall terminals are set to be outfitted with the new lights.

It is a move that the NY Department of Transport claims will reduce energy costs by 80 per cent.

The plan is part of a citywide programme of savings launched by New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, which aims to trim the city’s government and make it more efficient.

‘This initiative, once fully implemented, will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year as a result of lower energy costs and reduced maintenance needs,’ DOT spokesman Scott Gastel said. 

The DoT will oversee the conversion of nearly 650 lights in the Manhattan Whitehall Terminal at the start of August.

A further 406 luminaires will be switched in the St.George terminal, on Staten Island, at the end of the year.

The DoT has recently botched a number of LED conversions in New York, by failing to get the colour temperature of the new light right.

The city was forced to replace a number of recently installed street lamps because New Yorkers complained that they were too bright and too harsh.

There is currently a petition being signed in the city asking the de Blasio administration to revise a plan that would see all of New York City streetlights converted to LED.

The petition asks that ‘fully shielded’ fixtures be used that direct all the light downward. It also asks that the new lights do not emit too much blue-rich light.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has recommended that cities steer away from using blue-rich LED light because of the negative effect that it can have on sleep patterns.