2017 is a bright year at the Decorah Public Library.
The city-owned building on the corner of Main Street and Winnebago Street plans to complete an LED lighting retrofit this year that will increase light quality for library patrons and save the library money on electricity and maintenance.
The library is asking for donations to help fund the remaining cost of the project.
Approximately two-thirds of the $15,500 project is being funded by the Decorah Public Library Board of Trustees and Friends of the Decorah Public Library, leaving a $5,200 fundraising goal to be attained by the upcoming project start date: May 15.
According to library administration, the project will reduce the library’s current electrical bill by 27 percent and have a two-year payback period.

What’s ‘LED’?
LED is the name of a lightbulb technology. The acronym stands for “Light Emitting Diode,” a name that describes the small computer chip-like technology used to emit light inside the bulb.

Why LED lights?
LED lighting uses 10-30 percent of the energy required by a Edison-era incandescent bulb and are often compatible with conventional screw-in light fixtures. The bulbs are projected to last approximately 50,000 hours, which given the library’s hours of operation calculates to an estimated 10 year life span – two to three times longer than an incandescent bulb.
Although early adopters sometimes found the price of LEDs prohibitive, the price tag on LED bulbs has gone down, encouraging more people to choose this technology.
Many utilities also offer rebates for energy efficiency projects such as lighting upgrades.

Local support
The project will be completed by Decorah-based Perry Novak Electric who, in addition to upgrading the building’s fixtures, will also help the institution apply for Alliant Energy’s rebates, which will cover roughly a third of the project’s initial cost.
To make a donation to the library’s LED retrofit project, stop by the library during regular operating hours or mail a check to: Decorah Public Library - LED Project, 202 Winnebago Street, Decorah, IA 52101.
Checks can be made payable to the Decorah Public Library with “LED Project” in the memo line.Receipts for donations are available upon request.
Funds raised in excess of $5,200 will be put toward future library building upgrades.