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Los Angeles LED Lighting Effects

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#1 lbilello-LINY

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 03:35 PM

New York City is going forward with the LED lighting I believe in 4300K range. I believe LA updated to LED street lighting in the past few years.

Are there any astronomers in the LA area who can comment on conditions since the upgrade? Is the light pollution worse/same/better?

I want to get an idea what to expect going forward.

BTW, I have signed the petitions, sent the emails etc to the city.

thanks,
lb

#2 StarWolf57

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 05:16 PM

It's awful :( We used to have low pressure sodium in our neighborhood and at least I could make out a few major constellations. Now with LED street lights, about 30% of the stars disappeared...

I live in Granada Hills (Red zone at the north end of Los Angeles)

#3 Daniel Mounsey

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Posted 19 June 2014 - 11:38 PM

It's no better or worse from what I can see in fact I'm absolutely shocked anything even improves here! LA is horrible when it comes to taking care of itself. I've never seen a city that takes in so much revenue, yet does nothing to get its act together although Oakland is by far the worst when it comes to street garbage. I don't think they've ever heard of community service.

With regard to LA the stop light system is so bad, it's absolutely frustrating. There should also be strict laws against all the development of apartment complexes as well. The place is packed like sardine can with more and more people so I wouldn't expect lights to fade. For myself though, white light doesn't bother me at all in fact I keep white lights on while I view only because I'm viewing other targets than deep sky. I suppose that's why I'm so fond of Burnham's Celestial Handbook as an observing guide. It focuses on a ton of targets that are hardly affected by light pollution. All I care about mostly is seeing. As long as seeing is good, it's a great night! LA is and never will be anywhere remotely close to even considering a reduction in light pollution. LED's are a great solution though to the amount of power consumption most lights here use.

#4 StarStuff1

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Posted 20 June 2014 - 05:33 PM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights Ibilello!

Even tho I have a son who has lived in that area for 6 or 7 years he doesn't complain about the LP. But he does like to go into the local mountains to camp. A couple of weeks ago he called to ask about what telescope to buy as the stars were so bright when he camped...and he wanted to have a close look at the babes on the beach. I happily sent him a 65mm ED spotting scope and tripod and a couple of eyepieces.

This does not directly address your question but maybe my son will finally figure out why his dad complained about unshielded outside lights these many years.

Good luck.

#5 jherbc

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Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:42 PM

My city has started to install blue LEDs .They are shielded better than the old Cobra head sodium lights they replace . The light scatters more especially with snow cover so there is no gain in star visibility. The lights need to be installed exactly level or they cast light to the side .the resulting glare is very harsh. The city is applying an exact drop in replacement"pave the cowpath approach" so if the pole is not perfectly erect you get glare.There is no review as to whether the light helps motorists pedestrians or whatever.

#6 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 07:48 AM

Interesting article mentioning some possible health related risks of LED lighting and light pollution.

Spectrum chart for LED lighting shows it's a much broader spectrum, but still controllable with filter use - narrowband filter use.

Peak at 460nm where nearest H-Beta lines fall at 486nm and OIII at 500.7

All upper transmission lines of NII, Ha, SII would be very easy to filter out.

I suspect 3-7nm narrowband filtering of both OIII and Hb would allow for cutting through newer LED's, but this article at least shows some studies have been started.

#7 Vondragonnoggin

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Posted 23 June 2014 - 08:09 AM

It's awful :( We used to have low pressure sodium in our neighborhood and at least I could make out a few major constellations. Now with LED street lights, about 30% of the stars disappeared...

I live in Granada Hills (Red zone at the north end of Los Angeles)


Low pressure sodium is a lot easier to filter out in an LP filter transmitting from 589 - 589.6nm making a reject filter easy to make.

New LED's have such a broad spectrum with some peaks, but no narrow emitting spectra so whichever filter you use will have some amount of bleed through on LP. Because it is so energy efficient and so broad in the visual spectrum makes these attractive to non-astronomer politicians.

They do leave options open for electronically assisted viewing in the Red and Deep Red spectrum.

3-7nm Ha will take out almost all LP with very slight bleed through and 5nm SII with even better results.

Trick is to use device that boosts these to acceptable visual levels.

The real trick is to get people to listen to benefits of specifically directing light downward in concentrated areas.

I'd be curious to see how much difference there is in energy of reflected LED reflecting up off the pavement to what is projected down at the pavement.

Street lighting isn't going to be less for big cities like LA, but could be controlled for the cost of a small bite in savings over mercury or sodium lighting

#8 LDW47

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Posted 24 June 2014 - 02:06 PM

New York City is going forward with the LED lighting I believe in 4300K range. I believe LA updated to LED street lighting in the past few years.

Are there any astronomers in the LA area who can comment on conditions since the upgrade? Is the light pollution worse/same/better?

I want to get an idea what to expect going forward.

BTW, I have signed the petitions, sent the emails etc to the city.

thanks,
lb

You won't believe the reduction in the light dome above the horizontal plane of the lighting head ! As with where I live it should increase your seeing by a couple of classes on those great seeing nights, don't let anyone tell you differently before you try it. I will say that with a city as large as where you live commercial lighting will still have quite a detrimental affect as private installations are not normally legislated / controlled by the municipality as part of it's upgrades due to incurred costs. Keep your fingers crossed !

#9 darknesss

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 03:28 AM

LEDs should have low melting temperature so people must be careful with parabolic mirrors during the day around them...

#10 richard7

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Posted 19 July 2014 - 04:58 PM

LED's can sit on top of a pole over a concrete drive on a 120 F day and still function properly.
High temp is not a problem.

#11 lbilello-LINY

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

FYI, New York Astronomers - I was on the Cross Island Parkway Last night and noticed that the lighting has been updated to what I believe is the new LED lighting.

 

IMO, the new lighting was not as bright as the Sodium Vapor lamps and the lamps appeared to be better shielded so there was less light escaping up.

 

We shall see how LP is affected going forward as the installations continue.


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#12 George N

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:26 PM

 

It's awful :( We used to have low pressure sodium in our neighborhood and at least I could make out a few major constellations. Now with LED street lights, about 30% of the stars disappeared...

I live in Granada Hills (Red zone at the north end of Los Angeles)


Low pressure sodium is a lot easier to filter out in an LP filter transmitting from 589 - 589.6nm making a reject filter easy to make......
 

 

Alas, LPS is going the same way as all other discharge lighting  .... the same way as the Dodo..... extinct.

 

In very short order, a year or so, and there will be nothing for anyone to buy except LED. There's just no money to be made in continuing production of the old lights.



#13 George N

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Posted 18 August 2014 - 05:34 PM

FYI, New York Astronomers - I was on the Cross Island Parkway Last night and noticed that the lighting has been updated to what I believe is the new LED lighting.

 

IMO, the new lighting was not as bright as the Sodium Vapor lamps and the lamps appeared to be better shielded so there was less light escaping up.

 

We shall see how LP is affected going forward as the installations continue.

 

   I've still not found out the fate of the NYS anti-LP Bill, passed overwhelmingly by the Assembly and sitting on the Governor's desk. 

 

  As my local news paper recently reported: a discussion by the Town Board of the town just south of me included a question by a board member to a representative of a LED streetlight installer: "What do we do if there are complaints about the new LEDs being too bright?" His answer: They are easy to turn down in brightness. That would be something of interest to those working toward local LP control legislation. Also, I believe that all big cities will eventually go with computer controlled 'smart lighting systems', with the brightness of each light controlled according to local conditions.

 

  Also, with respect to the local town changing over to LEDs: They have installed a test strip on one street so that citizens can check them out and comment!

 

  R



#14 gmartin02

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 05:01 AM

FYI - Almost all of the Los Angeles new LED street lights replaced cobra head HPS lights (the whitish-orange ones) with "near" cut off LED lights. City of LA has never had very many of the LPS lights (the long tube yellow ones that are so common in North San Diego County).

 

Here is a link to before and after pictures (at the bottom of the page):

 

http://bsl.lacity.or...news-media.html

 

The City has also been experimenting with dimming the lights during late night hours on a few streets (but have not decided on a permanent dimming plan yet)


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#15 George N

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Posted 20 August 2014 - 12:53 PM

FYI - Almost all of the Los Angeles new LED street lights replaced cobra head HPS lights ......

 

Here is a link to before and after pictures (at the bottom of the page):

 

http://bsl.lacity.or...news-media.html

 

The City has also been experimenting with dimming the lights during late night hours on a few streets (but have not decided on a permanent dimming plan yet)

 

Interesting photos! While they don't provide a lot of info on the impact on LP, at least the ones taken from a high angle show that the new lights no longer thro light upward like the old ones did. On the other hand, the color is bluer and the ground coverage of the light is wider (not necessarily a bad thing if the total upward directed light is less).

 

Hopefully the dimming experiments will how that there is no safety issue. If they had an advanced computer system, it would keep the light level high during adverse conditions, like rain storms.



#16 LDW47

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Posted 24 August 2014 - 10:51 PM

LEDs should have low melting temperature so people must be careful with parabolic mirrors during the day around them...

Your post is just a joke, Right ??



#17 BrooksObs

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 09:52 AM

Let me offer two cautionary points. How do we know that the two street scenes were imaged in exactly the same manner, with the same exposure time and camera chip sensitivity setting, etc? I can certainly generate nighttime images telling any kind of story I want these days through use of my Photoshop. So are these images truly objective, or perhaps purposely bias to favor LED installation?

 

Secondly, while LEDs might perhaps work favorably for L.A.'s perpetual summer, I can foresee real problems if LEDs are employed in less moderate climates. The LED's broad ground coverage and its bluish emission could virtually wipe out the night sky of any city that experienced a wintertime snow cover. 

 

You know what you have already...but in half a century of the hobby I have never once seen a means of illumination, most touted to "improve" our lot, actually do so. Each has only made the situation worse.

 

BrooksObs 



#18 LDW47

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:28 PM

Let me offer two cautionary points. How do we know that the two street scenes were imaged in exactly the same manner, with the same exposure time and camera chip sensitivity setting, etc? I can certainly generate nighttime images telling any kind of story I want these days through use of my Photoshop. So are these images truly objective, or perhaps purposely bias to favor LED installation?

 

Secondly, while LEDs might perhaps work favorably for L.A.'s perpetual summer, I can foresee real problems if LEDs are employed in less moderate climates. The LED's broad ground coverage and its bluish emission could virtually wipe out the night sky of any city that experienced a wintertime snow cover. 

 

You know what you have already...but in half a century of the hobby I have never once seen a means of illumination, most touted to "improve" our lot, actually do so. Each has only made the situation worse.

 

BrooksObs 

Up here where it is -40 Deg many times with 3' of snow cover it all still looks as it does in the summer.  Night Sky Glow is still eliminated with the LED lighting. Surely there is some community close by that you can visit to see for yourself ?  As the old saying goes " Don't knock it until you try it "!  If the elected authorities have to stupe that low to dub / fudge something in they sure won't get away with it for too long this day and age !



#19 Tony Flanders

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 03:52 PM

Up here where it is -40 Deg many times with 3' of snow cover it all still looks as it does in the summer.  Night Sky Glow is still eliminated with the LED lighting.


I doubt it! The point of full-cutoff lighting is to direct the light downward -- which is as it should be. But when there's snow under the light it bounces right back up again, and you end up little better than if the light weren't shielded.

My measurements indicate an increase in sky brightnes of 75% or more immediately after a fresh snow. That decreases gradually as the snow is plowed and gets dirtier.

#20 LDW47

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:11 PM

 

Up here where it is -40 Deg many times with 3' of snow cover it all still looks as it does in the summer.  Night Sky Glow is still eliminated with the LED lighting.


I doubt it! The point of full-cutoff lighting is to direct the light downward -- which is as it should be. But when there's snow under the light it bounces right back up again, and you end up little better than if the light weren't shielded.

My measurements indicate an increase in sky brightnes of 75% or more immediately after a fresh snow. That decreases gradually as the snow is plowed and gets dirtier.

 

Yes but the light levels still might be a lot less in comparison to HPS or MV lighting and the surround lighting heads they are mounted on ! ? It might all be relative but the sky glow still looks a lot less, from a distance, to me when I am driving around and / or observing. Have you kept records to compare before and after readings over the years while changes were happening ? When you had the old lighting systems you had rebounds from the fresh snow and considerable light loss above the horizontal plane of the head, now with the new you only have a rebound and I would say that the snow does absorb some of this light as before but I would suspect that with new full cutoff heads and how they are placed to direct this new type / color of light there is quite a number difference overall in the sky above ?


Edited by LDW47, 25 August 2014 - 04:18 PM.


#21 BrooksObs

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 04:38 PM

Up here where it is -40 Deg many times with 3' of snow cover it all still looks as it does in the summer.  Night Sky Glow is still eliminated with the LED lighting. Surely there is some community close by that you can visit to see for yourself ?  As the old saying goes " Don't knock it until you try it "!  If the elected authorities have to stupe that low to dub / fudge something in they sure won't get away with it for too long this day and age !

 

 

 

Boy, oh boy, politicians sure must be a different breed up there in Canada! Down here south of the border many local politicians would sell out their own mothers to get a kick-back. And fudging "scientific" studies or canceling public hearings addressing them is standard practice. I can not tell you how many dirty deeds I've seen worked out in my suburban community over the years by both the town fathers and the school board. Get rid of one bad apple (if you can!) among them and two will replace him/her within just a couple of years!

 

As to the LEDs being an improvement over the current illuminatuion with snow on the ground, it'll definitely be a first if it turns out as you claim.

 

BrooksObs 


Edited by BrooksObs, 25 August 2014 - 04:41 PM.


#22 LDW47

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:32 PM

 

Up here where it is -40 Deg many times with 3' of snow cover it all still looks as it does in the summer.  Night Sky Glow is still eliminated with the LED lighting. Surely there is some community close by that you can visit to see for yourself ?  As the old saying goes " Don't knock it until you try it "!  If the elected authorities have to stupe that low to dub / fudge something in they sure won't get away with it for too long this day and age !

 

 

 

Boy, oh boy, politicians sure must be a different breed up there in Canada! Down here south of the border many local politicians would sell out their own mothers to get a kick-back. And fudging "scientific" studies or canceling public hearings addressing them is standard practice. I can not tell you how many dirty deeds I've seen worked out in my suburban community over the years by both the town fathers and the school board. Get rid of one bad apple (if you can!) among them and two will replace him/her within just a couple of years!

 

As to the LEDs being an improvement over the current illuminatuion with snow on the ground, it'll definitely be a first if it turns out as you claim.

 

BrooksObs 

 

Politicians are the same up here, if they can get away with it, but because of Internet access and every wide open aspect that goes with it things are getting harder and harder all the time to hide / deceive as you are surly well aware of, therefore these unscrupulous politicians are having not so easy times ! As I mentioned can you not see / study / compare for yourself this type of lighting somewhere close by ? It is a growing trend that is virtually changing / improving daily and it is / will work to improve, as a good alternative to the present systems that aren't and never will work in regards to light polution(s). Until something new comes along, as with everything else that is.  LOL !



#23 nitegeezer

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 05:40 PM

I would also think that LED lighting could use sensors to automatically dim in areas of high reflection.  Since the older lights were either on or off, I think this would be an improvement if utilized.


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#24 LDW47

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 06:23 PM

I would also think that LED lighting could use sensors to automatically dim in areas of high reflection.  Since the older lights were either on or off, I think this would be an improvement if utilized.

It can be done ! The extra cost could easily be recouped.



#25 gmartin02

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 12:43 AM

I understand the snow reflection factor, but aren't your streets plowed soon after a snow? My brother lives in South Lake Tahoe, which averages 125 inches of snow per year. Their streets always get plowed after a snowfall, and after a couple of days, there is almost no snow on the street, even though there is plenty of snow on the landscape. So even though there is a lot of snow, there not too many nights in the winter where the street is snowy white.

 

Since cutoff LED fixtures radiate the majority of their light onto the street, wouldn't the most significant problem only be for a couple of days after snow?

 

When you look at the whole year, how many days out of the 365 have white streets? I guess that answer depends on where you live.

 

Wouldn't it be better to have a few days brightened by cut off LED lights shining on snowy streets than to have 365 days a year brightened by Cobra head HPS street lighting? Even if you have 90 days/year of snowy streets, isn't that better than having every day unnecessary LP from old non cut off fixtures?


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