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LED bulbs put spotlight on veterans, energy efficiency

May 19th, 2014 9:34 pm by Gary B. Gray

LED bulbs put spotlight on veterans, energy efficiency

Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Marion Light talks with Rolling Thunder members Bill Hunt, Bob Rambo and Tom Carroll after the news conference to announce the LED lights installed at the Jonesborough Veterans Park. (Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)

New light is being shed upon the United States Armed Forces at the Jonesborough Veterans Park.

Thanks to a partnership between the Jonesborough Veterans Affairs Committee and the town’s staff, nine new low-wattage LED lights have been installed at the park to focus specifically on the flags of the armed forces and to save taxpayers money with the new energy-efficient fixtures.

Mayor Kelly Wolfe, Committee Chairman Marion Light, members of Rolling Thunder’s Chapter 4, Johnson City Power Board officials and others gathered Monday morning in front of the park for the announcement. Wolfe also used the occasion to break the news that the Tennessee Valley Authority had recognized the town as the state’s Green Power Switch Community of the Year.

“This is part of a bigger effort here in Jonesborough,” Wolfe said. “We believe in efficient energy, and we’re saving the taxpayers dollars. We not only are replacing the outdoor lights — we’re doing it inside the Visitors Center as well. The new senior center also will be using energy-efficient lighting, and the town has worked with the Johnson City Power Board to upgrade downtown.”

Jonesborough officials worked with the JCPB to completely upgrade its electrical infrastructure downtown. The effort resulted in the replacement of 30-year-old cable and transformers with underground wiring.

Light said the old 100-watt metal halide fixtures at the park were replaced with 22-watt LED units, a move that should save more than $100 a year to light the flags alone.

“We keep them on from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. every night, except the American flag — we keep that on all night,” he said. “I wanted to reduce the light pollution — the light that gets spread all over the walls of the building. This will reduce the glare. We’ve positioned them to point directly at the flags. It should be more subdued lighting, and it actually makes it more attractive.”

The town currently is working on an LED lighting plan for the Jonesborough Repertory Theater and will be doing the same in the planning for the Jackson Theatre. The new senior center also is being constructed with efficiency lighting and multiple gas units for individual room control and energy efficiency.

The Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Alderman and Jonesborough Veterans Affairs Committee are co-hosting the 30th Veterans Musical Tribute at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Johnson City Community Concert Band will provide the musical entertainment for the event. A reception will follow.

Follow Gary B. Gray on Twitter at @ggrayjcpress. Like him on Facebook at

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