Flickering Saint John street lights cause a buzz

Dozens of street lights in Saint John are on the blink. The city says about 150 street lamps have been found to be flickering uptown in the past few weeks.

In February, the city began changing more than a thousand high-pressure sodium bulbs to light-emitting diode (LED), at a cost of $140,000. The city expects to save $58,000 annually and eliminate 143 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Samir Yammine, Saint John's asset and energy management manager, says about 10 per cent of the changed light bulbs have turned out faulty.

"We're working diligently with the manufacturer right now to resolve this issue," says Yammine. "We have been assured by the manufacturer that this issue will be resolved in the next few week."

Yammine says the manufacturer will also take responsibility for any extra costs linked to the blinking bulbs.

In the meantime, utility crews are switching the light temperature of every uptown LED bulb from 3000K to 4000K, in a bid to keep them burning steady. The change in light temperature is causing the bulb's glow to change from orange to bright white.

"We hope this is a temporary measure," says Yammine, adding safety is the main concern.