Unhappy City Mice

Via Instapundit:

GREENFAIL: LED Lights Add To Pollution.

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) — which are touted for their energy-saving properties — are actually making light pollution worse. And the change is so intense that ISS crew members can see it from space. . . .

Cities around the world have been replacing energy-guzzling streetlights with brighter and whiter energy-saving LEDs. In fact, New York City is retrofitting all of its 250,000 street lights with LEDs in what the city is calling the biggest project of its type in the country.

But energy savings does not necessarily translate to happy city dwellers. In a piece in The New York Times, Brooklyn residents complained about the glaring white light creeping into their homes and eyes, causing many restless nights.

LEDs worsen light pollution by giving off more blue and green light than the high-pressure sodium lights they normally replace. And this artificial light pollution washes out the night sky and is linked to many negative consequences. Disrupted night and day cycles can confuse nocturnal animals and alter their hunting interactions, migratory patterns, and internal physiology.

It can also mess with our internal clocks.

Unintended consequences.

We have a pole light just like everybody else in the neighborhood and we can see– and sleep– just fine.

You should see the night sky out here at the Farm when the Moon isn’t showing too much of her face… all filled with stars and planets and whatnot. It is loud, though. All that chirping and peeping and cricketing and howling.

One Response

  1. The government has been pushing LEDs by requiring almost impossible lumen per watt standards on the manufacturers. At this point, they’ve been very busy bringing out versions of many different frequently used light bulbs. As a result, they haven’t been offering different colors…just 3k and 5k. Warm white and daylight. I expect there will be a greatly increased range of colors within 2-3 years. Also much reduced pricing – the prices are already dropping significantly. Of course, incandescent lights come in only one color (other than actual colored bulbs) and that’s a very warm white – about 2700K. Fluorescents are now available in 27k, 30k, 35k, 41k, 5k and 65k. but they too started at 27k only. It takes time to develop product!

    For your information, to compare Fluorescents to incandescents, multiply the actual wattage by 4-5 (depends on the manufacturer). LEDs are a bit more efficient, but use the multiplier of 6-7. It’s approximate but pretty close. LEDs great strength is their long life – assuming you don’t have problems with voltage swings. They don’t tolerate those well.

    I also recommend that you keep a separate file for your receipts from LED purchases, assuming that the seller or manufacturer provide some sort of lifetime guarantees. Considering the price…you may want to have some recourse if they go out much sooner than promised – but you’ll need your receipt to get a refund!

    By the way – LEDs light is different from both incandescents and fluorescents. You may want to try them out with the option of returning them if they don’t work in a particular application. They also can’t be dimmed (even if they’re dimmable) with a standard incandescent dimmer. If you want to use them someplace that you intend to use with a dimmer, make sure you buy a dimmer intended to be used with LEDs.

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