Monday, October 10, 2016

Eureka Getting New Streetlights

Like many of you, I received a letter in the mail a few days ago advising that PG&E will be replacing all the city's streetlights with newer, more energy efficient LED lights. It will be interesting to see how they compare with our current lights.

It may surprise some of you I'm not too worried about the expense, though there's no mention of how this will be paid for. It would seem to save money over  time as LEDs use less energy, but how much will they save and will it end up being cost effective? You'll recall we have an abundance of natural gas in the state, yet natural gas got more expensive anyway, so paint me somewhat skeptical.

Even if there's a spike in costs to begin with, I won't complain too much. The one problem I will have is if we all end up paying more forever on our utility bills only for the hysterical notion that the new lights will save the planet from climate change, which is what this is supposedly all about.

More info on PG&E's web site here.


At 10:54 AM, Blogger Sally Sheffield said...

It sounds like a good idea. The increased visibility might help prevent collisions(pedestrian and vehicles). Amazing they can last for 20 years! 😃

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Bob Wallace said...

Early conversions to LED street lights found payback periods ranging up to ten years. More recent projections are coming in at less than five years.

The cost of LEDs has dropped significantly.

That means that we pay about what we have been paying for a few years and then we start realizing savings that go into the future.

I doubt there would be a cost spike. The changeover would probably be financed and costs spread so that electricity savings would pay for the conversion.

Switching to LEDs at home makes incredible sense.

A 60 watt incandescent bulb used four hour a day will use about 88 kWh a year. At 15.5 cents/kWh (CA avg in 2015) that's over $13 a year.

You can buy a quality 60 watt equivalent LED for about $2.50. It should last about seven years if used four hours a day. And use about $2 worth of electricity per year.

BTW, you'd have to buy a few incandescents to get you through seven years of use.

Replace your most used incandescents now. You'll be ahead in a couple of months.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I might go with that. I wasn't impressed when we bought our first compact fluorescents. I think the first one burned out reight after we installed it. The others weren't much better, but we've bought some since that lasted a while.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Bob Wallace said...

My first CFL is still working after about 20 years. It's pretty dim now but makes for good 'mood' lighting in the dining room. ;o)

I'm off the grid so saving electricity is important. I was happy with my first CFLs that cost around $18 each. But now we've moved on.

LEDs are just plain impressive. They are making big inroads to cutting electricity use. That's fossil fuel generation that won't need to be replaced.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger gabriele gray said...

Saw a listing on an online store offering LED grow lights...they were for home use (the same size as most indoor light fixtures) but who knows what will be coming up the road soon.
THIS, however, might be a concern:

Ahah...found that listing:

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Bob Wallace said...

Let's make sure we don't feed into yet another hair on fire response by the too easily spooked crowd.

The AMA made a statement about the color of LED light for street lighting.

"The AMA's statement recommends that outdoor lighting at night, particularly street lighting, should have a color temperature of no greater than 3000 Kelvin (K). Color temperature (CT) is a measure of the spectral content of light from a source; how much blue, green, yellow and red there is in it. A higher CT rating generally means greater blue content, and the whiter the light appears."

Too blue can make it harder to see at night because the shorter blue wavelength light tends to bounce around inside the eyeball and blur things.

And, if I'm understanding this correctly, too bright street lights could interfere with circadian rhythms (the body's internal clock).

There's no warning specific to LEDs. Just against light that is too blue. And against making the nighttime city too bright.

At 2:17 PM, Blogger Bob Wallace said...

Here's an interesting read on indoor farming with LEDs. This is from a leading renewable energy site, one that specializes in energy industry news, not cropping.

My takeaway is that any indoor grower who hasn't switched/isn't switching to LEDs is harming both their bottom line and the planet. We need to be cutting our energy use so that we can close more coal plants and use less natural gas.


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