Riverfront lights ‘on the blink’
The Town of Fort Frances is hoping to soon find an answer as to why some of the new LED lights along the La Verendrye Parkway (Front Street) have been flashing on and off periodically.
As part of the town’s ongoing project to replace high-pressure sodium streetlights with LED ones, the Fort Frances Power Corp. started to switch out the lights in the lamp posts along the riverfront last month.
Travis Rob, the town’s facility/special project co-ordinator, said yesterday that the problem has been difficult to pinpoint.
“Something happens inside the fixture and they start to pulse,” he noted. “It’s a regular pulse—it’s on for a second, off for a second.
“The issue is that it seems to not be a regular occurrence.
“If something happens to a light, it’s not as if it starts flashing and keeps flashing—if it goes through an ‘on-off’ cycle, it may not start flashing when it restarts,” added Rob.
“So that’s one of the issues we are running up against.
“If we have a complaint of a flashing light, we can’t necessarily find it when we go to disable it,” he explained.
Rob said the town has sent a whole light fixture, and then the control module out of a second one, to the manufacturer, which has had the parts for about two weeks.
The FFPC also has taken voltage measurements, taken photos of the voltage readings and wiring connections, and provided as much pertinent information as possible to the manufacturer.
But the manufacturer has no answers so far.
“They have a light, they have a fixture, they have a control box at their lab and they’re trying to diagnose the problem,” said Rob.
“But they can’t get that light [to start flashing].
“It was flashing when it left town—now they can’t get it to flash,” he noted.
“We’re working with them as diligently as we can to find a solution,” Rob pledged.
“We have a whole bunch more of these lights and we can’t put them up because we don’t want to put them up, and then have problems and have to take them down.
“You’re going back and re-doing everything over and over again.
“It’s very frustrating,” Rob admitted. “The warranty’s covering the work, but it’s expensive for the company and time-consuming for our staff.
“So they’ve asked us to stop putting up the lights for now and we have.”
The series of LED lights on the riverfront currently stretches from La Verendrye Hospital to just before the Sorting Gap Marina.
Some of the lights that have been identified with a flashing problem have been disabled.
“Hopefully, we don’t have more issues,” said Rob. “But if we do, we’re going to end up having to go and put the old ones back up because we do need to still maintain that light on that stretch.
“We’ll be monitoring that as we go,” he added. “Hopefully we get it fixed first.
“That’s what everyone here is hoping.”
Rob said he’s hoping to hear back from the manufacturer in the near future.