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Pedernales Electric Cooperative is upgrading the light bulbs used in the lighting fixtures it services, including in the Marble Falls area. Incandescent lights and older LEDs that go out or are fading are being replaced with state-of-the-art LEDs that are dark sky-friendly and more energy efficient.

Already, 3,000 of the 3,300 old-school incandescent lights in the Marble Falls service area, which includes Marble Falls, Johnson City, Cottonwood Shores, Meadowlakes, Blanco, and parts of Burnet County, have been replaced. The rest will be switched out by the end of April, according to a PEC spokesperson. 

The lights are on private property and serviced by PEC because they require bucket trucks to reach. Those members who have their lights changed to LED bulbs will pay an increase of less than $1 a month on their electric bill for the maintenance. Those who already have LEDs will not see an increase.  Ultimately, the new LED bulbs will save lamp owners money as they are more energy efficient. 

The lights are also dark sky-friendly, cutting back on light pollution and helping to preserve the starry, starry nights in the Highland Lakes.

Three of four certified International Dark Sky communities in Texas are located in PEC’s service territory: Horseshoe Bay, Dripping Springs, and Wimberley Valley. Cottonwood Shores is the latest Highland Lakes community to adopt an ordinance to pursue becoming a member of the International Dark-Sky Association.

Dark sky communities commit to preserving and protecting the night sky through responsible lighting policies and public education.

The PEC Board of Directors adopted a resolution in 2011 to establish a Cooperative Lighting Program promoting outdoor lighting fixtures that follow up-to-date guidelines for efficient, nonintrusive lighting. 

PEC offers suggestions for how to make your own space dark sky-friendly: 

  • Only use outdoor lights where necessary, making sure the light is directed where it is needed by pointing and shielding it properly.
  • Use the dimmest, warmest bulbs available.
  • Use a motion sensor to ensure the light is on only when needed.

suzanne@thepicayune.com