Street lights. In cities the world over they help people see at night, providing plenty of light that keeps communities safe, illuminated and functioning 24 hours a day. The only problem; they waste a LOT of electricity. In fact, a Clinton administration backed study revealed that street lights waste about 60% of the typical city’s electrical power. When you consider that a large city can have literally thousands of street lights you begin to realize just how wasteful they can be, accounting for billions of dollars of electrical energy down the drain.
In Baltimore they’re doing something about this waste, but not everyone is happy about the change. Right now they’re in this east coast city they’re in the process of changing out approximately 70,000 street lights, taking away the sodium-vapor lights that have been there for decades and switching them with the newest energy saving LED lamps that have recently been developed.
So far nobody is arguing with the savings that the new lights will hopefully provide. The projected savings per year is almost $2 million in energy and another $300, 000 in maintenance costs since the new bulbs are supposed to be practically maintenance free and purported to last for 10 times as long as the older lights.
No, the problem is that the new lights don’t seem to provide as much light as the older type, and that has some people complaining that their neighborhoods are now less safe and less lit.
Of course the biggest problem with change on this scale is that there will always be naysayers. Regardless of the fact that the lights are less wasteful, regardless of the fact that they provide a better type of light that makes it easier to see at night and regardless of the fact that the cut down substantially on light pollution they aren’t ‘the old lights’ and, until people have had enough time to get used to them, there will always be those that have a negative opinion of them.
They will have to do their best to get used to them however because the future isn’t stopping anytime soon and it includes changing out ALL the street lights in every city in the country to try and reduce America’s rising need for electrical energy. The project in Baltimore is only 1 of many that are under way nationwide and, naysayers or not, the new lights are on their way to a city near you.