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Vergennes Opera House gets new efficient lighting

VERGENNES — The board and officers of the non-profit Friends of the Vergennes Opera House recently announced the completion of a $15,000 installation of a new energy efficient lighting system at the Main Street hall.
The project consisted of 17 new LED downlights and 14 new LED exit signs.
This new LED lighting replaces the halogen lights that were installed more than 20 years ago when the technology was much different. The downlights supply the primary lighting in the facility. The exit lights provide guides to the emergency exits and generate lighting in the event of an emergency.
The new LED downlight fixtures provide a number of advantages over the halogen lights.
•  Brightness: They deliver light that is approximately 50 percent brighter.
•  Cost: The new lights cost 25 percent less to run.
•  Safety: The LED fixtures generate virtually no heat, thus significantly reducing the risk of fire.
•Longevity: The LED bulbs are expected to last 50,000 hours as compared to the halogen bulbs that only last about 3,500 hours. That is a bulb life that is more than 14 times longer.
•  Maintenance: Since the fixtures are housed in the ceiling of the opera house which is over 30 feet above the floor, changing a bulb requires the use of an electric lift. An extended life span means that the bulbs will need very little maintenance over the years.
The new exit signs have advantages in that they also have a longer life span and run at a lower cost than the previous fixtures. Additionally, due to the state-of-the-art technology of the fixtures, they meet the latest fire code requirements and safety standards for the building.
This project was facilitated by the all-volunteer team of the Friends of the Vergennes Opera House (FVOH) Board and volunteers. The funds raised through sponsorships, underwriting and revenue from ticket sales is reinvested into the historic theater, thus making these types of improvements to this 19th-century building possible. Partnering with the FVOH were the good folks at Hubbell Incorporated, the manufacturers of the lighting fixtures. They supplied the fixtures to the FVOH at factory pricing, which significantly reduced the cost of the project. Hubbell is a $5 billion manufacturer of electrical products.
CDP Electric out of Rutland completed the installation.
The Vergennes Opera House is a 121-year-old historic theater located in the heart of Vergennes’ downtown, on the second floor of the City Hall building. It was a vibrant part of community life until the late 1950s when the new high school was built. After that, the theater space was no longer needed for high school plays and graduations. It fell into disrepair and was essentially shuttered in 1973. In 1997 the theater was reopened to the public after extensive structural and safety improvements taken on by the fledgling Friends of the Vergennes Opera House organization.
Over time, the Opera House has received significant cosmetic improvements and it once again holds its place as the center of cultural and artistic life for the region.
Visit vergennesoperahouse.org to learn more.

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