October 23, 2008

City Tests 'Induction' Street Lights in Atwater Village

The Light Also Rises
THE CITY OF Los Angeles is testing 2 "induction lighting" street lamps in the 3700 block of Valleybrink Road in Atwater Village. From our neighborly Pamela Burgess:
"The color of the light is blue, as compared to the warm glow of 'High Pressure Sodium Lamps' that we have now throughout the neighborhood. The test lamps will soon be removed and installed elsewhere in the city."
The City's testing for cost savings, but Pamela expresses a valid aesthetic concern, one unlikely to be measured, about "the quality, color and look of the light, and how it reflects 'the feeling of our neighborhood.'"

I already notice a difference between the new blues and old ambers. The new lights throw harsher shadows, but they do seem brighter and, theoretically, safer for passersby. (Could also be they're testing them away from trees.)

I doubt those perps who rifled through my Honda under the old, dim amber lights would've had so much time and leeway under these bright new blues.


gerald@adgmail.com said...

Induction Lights should be available in Warm tones as well. At http://www.architecturaldetailgroup.com/induction/ there are a much better and more complete array of colors, safety features and the old warm hue should still be available and just as safe.

igarrett said...

I think more important than the apparent color of the light is color rendering index of the light. The amber sodium lights, without high end lamps, are going to definitely be less than 80 and most likely closer to 60. The CRI of an induction lamp is 80 as a minimum so that you'll be able to better see color under these lights will also having the operational savings equal or greater to an HID lamp like a sodium lamp and extremely long lamp life due to the solid state electronics being used. While the warm amber of the sodium might be nice, the ability to distinguish colors with a lot in the blue range of the spectrum is an added bit of safety. That area of the spectrum is the easiest to see due to evolution of the eyes in very blue sunshine and it would make it easier to describe a perpetrator. The evolution of street lighting has been a lot about increasing CRI. A lot of street lights in the city have been changed over to assist the police visually identify stolen cars and perpetrators at night with greater accuracy. And if you've ever tried to find your blue car under low pressure sodium light you'd be thankful for the change.

meekorouse said...

they have started changing over the street lights in skid row to these induction lights and in the areas where the new lights are, there is less crime and more pedestrian flow.

It brings a more welcome atmosphere to the area.

James said...

Induction Lighting seems to be a better alternative to LED's which degrade with heat and can turn a shade of green with time.

We've installed a number of Induction Lamps into London from a company called Indo Lighting (www.indolamp.com), we've tested lamps from 3000K to 5000K, the lower colour temperatures are much warmer, but after putting a 70W 5000K next to a 70W 3000K, we've decided to go with higher colour temperatures which appear much brighter. As our energy costs have gone up by 40% in the last 6 months, this is becoming a much more important issue!