City takes next step in trial of new street lights

On January 14 city council voted unanimously to take the next step in a trial project to replace existing street lights with LED technology. Over the first three months of 2014 the city will replace 2100 existing high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps with LED bulbs in Altadore Marda Loop Douglasdale Tuxedo Park and Marlborough.

A recent Transportation Department report on the status of the city’s LED lighting experiment which began in December 2012 says there are some negative issues with the technology but it is still the best way to meet Calgary’s efficiency goals.

Notably the brightness of the light from LEDs decreases over time. Also when Lethbridge recently began its own LED street lighting project citizens there raised concerns about the effect the blue-white light would have on sleep patterns. Calgary’s report says the city will be careful to ensure light is focused on city roads and not spread far enough to be a nighttime distraction in homes.

The department is confident in industry’s ability to mitigate other problems such as dimming over time stating in the report: “manufacturers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in LEDs as they see this as the future of lighting.”