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LED Street Lighting Is Impressive

March 24, 2012 Featured, North City, Planning & Design 15 Comments

Thursday evening I was waiting for the #4 MetroBus at Natural Bridge and Newstead (map) when I looked up and noticed the streetlights were LEDs.

ABOVE: Looking west on Natural Bridge from Newstead

I don’t know anything about the fixtures themselves or when they were installed but I like the coloring of the light — not yellow like the one old fixture still in front of the Julia Davis Library. Apparently these are part of a test program.


Per the above story a “fixture and bulb for LED lighting can cost more than $600 or five times as much as the city spend on a street light right now” but potentially cut our electric bill in half.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "15 comments" on this Article:

  1. Douglas Duckworth says:

    They also last forever. 

    • JZ71 says:

      They last a long(er) time, but not forever.  Just check out our LED traffic signals and their failing elements.

  2. MattH says:

    I believe they have also been installed for a long stretch of Chippewa.

  3. Imran says:

    Its not a very inviting color temperature. I guess its okay for lifeless highways but when they proposed to install it on euclid near the new bjc building there was a lot of opposition from the neighborhood. its not the kind of light/intensity under which you would enjoy a meal at a sidewalk cafe. In time I think the aesthetics will come up to match the technology and the fixtures will even be cheaper. For now, I don’t like the institutional harshness of the LEDs.

  4. Msrdls says:

    I would support purchasing and installing any fixture and lamp that will deliver the best lighting levels possible, regardless of K-values. In my opinion, once an exterior area (especially) is illuminated, the average Joe won’t be able to differentiate between “yellow” vs. “white” light, unless there’s an adjacent or  visually comparable yellow lamp that hasn’t been changed out.Then a  comparison can be made.  Exterior sidewalk cafe operators can invest in overhead canopies or umbrellas to soften the lighting, confident that their customers just might be safer walking to their cars at the end of their meal.
    Ubi sunct!

    • Msrdls says:

      …make that “ubi sunt”!

    • Webby says:

      This “average Joe” can tell the difference.  Take a drive down Chippewa.  I do like the efficiency of the new fixtures, but the white color is very cold and harsh.  Hopefully there will be improvements to them over time.

  5. Moe says:

    They are on Chippewa and though they save money, last longer, and supposedly help with light pollution ( a very serious issue by the way), I’m not a big fan of them.  They seem to make the area appear darker and less safe.  I prefer the warmer tones of the street lights in front of BJC on Kingshighway.

    As for the LED street lights, I don’t think the technology is there yet for are wildly varied weather conditions (90 one day and freezing rain the next) leading to shortened life spans.

  6. Msrdls says:

    I would suggest that before passing judgement, the purists look beyond the point of transition between the yellow vs. white lighting, and allow themselves to acclimate to the cooler color. Sure, if you’re a warm-light kind of guy, you’ll initially react adversely to  the cooler color. But once a person is in it for a while, and in an area where he can’t visually compare it to  warmer k levels, my experience is that it becomes unnoticeable–similar to daylight. Who objects to daylight? Things tend to change, and that is not necessarily a bad thing. I can still enjoy my  $ 9.00 mocha latte with peppermint swirls under 5500K lighting, and in the meantime, I might be in a better “light” to verify if the dishes are clean~!

  7. Moe says:

    To each their own I would say.  And by the way…Vampires hate daylight and so do criminals (most of them) LOL

  8. Jeremyrabus says:

    This reminds me of how the prefecture of Nara, Japan installed bluish streetlights to reduce crime. And it worked, by 9%.

  9. samizdat says:

    I like these lights. I wish they could be installed on all City streets. Though they should be shorter, so as to primarily illuminate the sidewalk. The color? Well, these are much preferable over the sickly-yellow sodium vapor lamps. Ugh. The whiter color also allows for a better recognition of true color. The yellowy sodium vapor could make a silver car look gold, and a blue car look green, etc. It’s possible, as well, that the problems highlighted by JZ have been ironed out in this generation of LEDs.


    i like this lights..keep more n more updates..


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