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View Poll Results: What's your opinion of LED streetlights?
Yeah 18 62.07%
Meh 3 10.34%
Nah 8 27.59%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-06-2019, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,386 posts, read 1,512,570 times
Reputation: 4214

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LED streetlights are popping up left and right in my neck of the woods everywhere: in Chicago proper, in suburbs, and on state-owned expressways. I don't know about most people, but I don't like them. Yeah, they have merits, like saving energy, but in my opinion, not much else. First off, instead of having a warm amber glow that boosts my mood a little at night, they shine in a harsh, stark light that reminds me of a hospital operating room. Second, they have very strong glare, and they blind me momentarily if I accidentally look up at at them; that can't be good for driving safety. Third, I read that they cause worse light pollution than high-pressure sodium (amber) streetlights do, even if they save energy. And they can disrupt sleep for nighttime drivers (after they get home, that is), since any light with blue wavelengths tricks the brain into thinking it's morning.

So what do others think, as far as LED streetlights are concerned? Yeah, meh, or nah?
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
17,536 posts, read 10,896,894 times
Reputation: 37490
I don't know if we have led street lights here yet, but they recently redid a large section of a major highway here, and they changed the lighting. I haven't figured out how it works yet, it is off sometimes, but then, for no reason at all, it comes on and illuminates the area. I don't know if they are triggered by traffic or a timer, or what, but you will be sitting at a red light, and suddenly the light overhead comes on. Then after a little while, it goes off.

Very weird.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:04 AM
 
Location: WA
5,364 posts, read 21,225,783 times
Reputation: 5781
Here in my neighborhood the issues with replacing old dim / failed lights was ongoing so the new LED lights that promise a long life are a good thing, I have adjusted to the different color.
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
9,288 posts, read 9,970,081 times
Reputation: 12968
LED is eventually going to replace everything. It's cheap to manufacture (and getting cheaper), low energy use, and output is slowly evolving to start being used as a prime lighting source.

Street lights will take some getting used to, but I doubt anyone is going to go back to Metal Halide/Sodium bulb street lamps anytime soon.

Last edited by BostonMike7; 05-06-2019 at 09:21 AM..
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:17 AM
 
7,783 posts, read 3,057,606 times
Reputation: 5298
It’s actually worse for night vision. The problem is they use the coldest light available (warm LEDs use a tad bit more energy). Unless the lights are heavily spaced together, you actually lose night vision because you’re temporarily blinded until you pass by the light. https://www.menshealth.com/health/a1...-driving-risk/

Apparently they’re bad for your eye health as well https://www.google.com/amp/s/globaln...h-effects/amp/
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Old 05-06-2019, 09:25 AM
 
15,037 posts, read 13,197,325 times
Reputation: 20170
I hate them, love LEDs, got them in my home, but seems the people who do the street lights/walkway lights have zero clue regarding LED temperatures. If they would use a warmer one it would be great, but the ones they use just outputs the worse lighting.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:07 PM
 
352 posts, read 250,102 times
Reputation: 331
OP good point about these being extremely blinding if you glance at one. Other than that, which is a potential safety hazard, I think they are all positive assuming the energy savings are real and accurate.
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Old 05-07-2019, 08:39 PM
 
12,208 posts, read 15,013,312 times
Reputation: 7972
Since I design such lighting systems I can tell you:
LED conversions offer a good payback not just in energy but maintenance.
4000K color temperatures are easier on the eyes.
High Pressure Sodium (HPS), once the standard for roadway lighting, is rapidly going out of style.*
Many Roadway Luminaires (lighting fixtures) are no longer available as HPS.
LED luminaires are more versatile.* They can be flashed or dimmed; not possible with HPS.
I know of an LED upgrade of an HPS lighting system only six years old.
Definitely here to stay!
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Old 05-07-2019, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Hockey Rulez, Texas
733 posts, read 223,131 times
Reputation: 1176
Other issues too - at least for ones made by one company that were installed in a few cities:

https://www.detroitnews.com/story/ne...rs/3650465002/
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,386 posts, read 1,512,570 times
Reputation: 4214
Quote:
Originally Posted by pvande55 View Post
Many Roadway Luminaires (lighting fixtures) are no longer available as HPS.
In my area, I still occasionally see HPNa streetslights going up. So clearly, they're still being manufactured. And their glow is much nicer than something straight out of a surgery ward LED streetlights produce. HPNa streetlights go up only on expressways managed by the Illinois Department of Transportation (non-toll interstates; Midwest doesn't use the term "freeways") and on some surface streets that aren't state routes. Illinois Tollway Authority expressways (tollways) and state route surface streets put up new LED streetlights almost exclusively.

At this point, I'll have to make peace with the warm amber streetlights going away. I'll enjoy them while they last.
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