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Before & After using Google StreetView

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#1 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 18 January 2024 - 05:15 PM

I've been using this trick for some time, mostly to see the changes in my locations. Whether I lived or stayed there, visited briefly, or know about some fantasy location, I can use google "streeview" to see street-light changes that have occurred since around 2009, sometimes to 2007.

 

Here's an example of a new LED light I photographed while driving back from my cabin in November 2019:

 

IMG_3644+insert.jpg

 

And here's the Google streetview just 7 months earlier:

 

Fitzroy-similar-spot-2019-Apr.jpg

 

I can clearly see, via the tags, the watts & the make for each on my large jpgs or bmps, therefore, I can figure out the lumens and spill for each head. For the new LED head (on top), the label shows it's a LEOTEK GreenCobra Jr. model GCJ1-20H-MV-WW-2R-GY-700.., with 46 system watts. The initial lumens is approximately 6900 Lm while the WW on the model number indicates it's Warm White @3000°K.

 

The old cobra head appears to be a GE model (unimportant), the lamp inside was an HPS (high-pressure sodium) and the watts were 150. The initial lumens for these lamps is known to be 14,400 to 16,000 lumens. Assuming the lamp was old and it was inside an inefficient fixture, lets say that about 8000 mean lumens were distributed, about 5-10% of which was shining directly into the sky.

 

So there was a drop of about 1100 lumens with no direct up-light when the spanking new LED Green Cobra Jr. was installed. More importantly, the consumption went from about 195 watts to 46 watts!

 

It only recently dawned on me that everyone in this sub-forum should be doing this. For whatever desired reason, you can "see" the current & past NEMA lables/tags on street-lights on your very own street. This works perfectly for North American views of public streets, and it might also work for other continents (as labels were uncommon). Additionally, there are many streetviews for private mall lots, private business perimeters and floodlights, with heads close enough to a google camera to discearn a label.

 

Some key things to understand...As described in this thread, knowing the watts (label number) and type (label color) of the street-light, you can directly determine:

 

- The brightness of the head, i.e. the initial and mean lumens when the type of lamp is known.
- The spectral output of the heads.
- Exactly what happened..Did the actual mean lumens go up, down or was it unchanged?

 

This will save you a lot of aggravation, as well as consternation from a municipal/county official or utility spokesperson if you start complaining about your new LED street-lights.  It's possible that the lumens increased, but now you can prove it. However, for public street-lights, most of what I've seen, the new LED lumens went down.

 

The procedure is simple:

 

Google your address, open up the map and full-screen it (press the F11 key).

 

Hover over the stick figure on the lower right. A pop up will show "Browse Street View images". Click on the stick figure to see all available (blued) routes.

 

figure-popup+blued-routes.jpg

 

Click on any point on the blue lines. Your screen changes to the latest available street view. Initially it'll be a medium-wide view.

 

2-Initial-wide-view.jpg

 

Continued... (500 kb limit reached).


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#2 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 18 January 2024 - 05:20 PM

Continued..

 

Travel along the street until you are adjacent to a street-light pole. Make sure you can see "See more dates" (red arrows), then ZOOM into the head (lower right +/- buttons).

 

travel adjacent to light+extra dates.jpg

 

Zoomed-Recent-View.jpg

 

Click on other dates and zoom in (+/- buttons). Is the head the same?,..scroll to older dates. If it doesn't show "See more dates", determine if the head is new (LED) or old on the available date. If it is the old head, take note of the sticker & date. Go out in the day to your new head and zoom in with a camera or binoculars.

 

Zoomed-Older-View.jpg

 

Zoom in and reposition if needed to the older head. It may be fuzzy, dark, or completely missing. In that case, go to another adjacent street-light in that street (same string). Zoom into that. If the tags are dark or un-sharp, simply copy-screen the best one, open up Photoshop or a similar editor, play with the sharpness & brightness/contrast until you see the number.

 

I'm really interested to see what other cities have done, so post your own results here.

 

 


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#3 kevin6876

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 01:55 PM

It is also important to mention, that even know the new LED wattage tag may indicate the rated wattage of the fixture, it may actually be operating at a lower wattage than what it is rated for or listed on the tag at.  Street Light managers will often do this with control nodes (the photocells on top of the fixture) if they are network operated.

 

If a streetlight is network controlled managers will typically operate an LED lamp at, say, 60% of their rated wattage and even dim futher or turn them off overnight (1AM to 5AM).

 

It is also important to note the lumen output from HPS to LED is different too.  HPS has an omnispherical output in all directions, whereas LED is directional.  So the lumens on the ground is really comparative even when an HPS fixture may be rated for 8000 lumen, not all those lumens hit the ground below.  Where LED may indicate a rated output of 6000 lumen, when the operating wattage is only operating at say 60% of the rated value the lumens on the ground may very well be comparable to what the HPS fixture actually puts down on the ground for illuminance.

 

Managers will operate an LED at a fraction of its rated output wattage to preserve the fixture.  If you were to run at 100%,  you'd probably only be able to run a 1/4 mile, whereas if you ran at 60% you could probably run 5 miles.  Same goes for LED fixtures, they fail sooner when operating at full output.  They use this strategy to minimize mainntenace costs.

 

Cheers. 


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#4 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 05:09 PM

Yes, kevin6876's points are true but they are uncommon. Generally, LED street-lights can be preserved when running them less than their rated power, but power cut-back and dimming in North America are rare. This is the cause for all the blue/purple street-lights in the South East US... Running certain models at the highest output cooks the phosphor off the diode after a few years running dusk-to-dawn.

 

Typically, city & suburb LED street-lights in North America are on strings of about 15 up to 100 lights, controlled simply and autonomously, on & off, near the power shown on the LED tag (+/- 10%) which may or may not be the full or maximum power rating for that LED head. This is done via a legacy curbside switching box left intact from the MV/HPS days, PLUS a photocell on each fixture. (Semi-rural and rural street-lights are only switched with their photocells on top). What we often see after sunset in cities, is a string of LED lights turning on as the curbside box switches on, then turn off (almost at random), after a few minutes when the photocontrols on the heads take over. They light up again as it gets darker. This delay gets shorter or disappears when the LED heads get older and dirtier.

 

Many complaints from ordinary people, not just astronomers, are due to the harshness of the LED heads as the light comes from a more concentrated source. But shining all the LED light down is good for Astronomy. From measurements & calculations I've done, as compared to before, if you get approximately 25% to 33% more lumens on the ground with LED heads, sky-glow (some distance from the lights) starts to increase. Remember that the older HPS & MV heads had some direct up-light. So when the lumens on the ground (which anyone can measure using a lux meter), remains about the same, sky-glow decreases!


Edited by GeorgeLiv, 20 January 2024 - 05:41 PM.

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#5 Fabricius

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 05:56 PM

Great trick! It works.

 

I could not find historical streetview images in Google Earth, but did not realize that they are available in the Google Maps version of StreetView.

 

Unfortunately, no tags are visible in my country.

Not even in the city where the telescope was invented.

 

Annoying street lights.jpg


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#6 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 20 January 2024 - 06:24 PM

Cool. Was that SOX 55 watt lighting before or fluorescent? You can "travel" along the street to see other lights in the same string. Maybe they'll have a tag.

 

It's sad that Philips/Osram/GEC didn't continue improving on the low-pressure sodium (SOX) lamp powered with electronic ballasts. That fixture alone on the top likely had ~15% losses and the magnetic ballast would add to the consumption by ~15-20% on the rated lamp watts. So in the end you would get about 7000 lumens on the ground with 55 watt SOX fixtures with 79 total consumed watts (~85 watts in The USA/Canada with 120volt ballasts).


Edited by GeorgeLiv, 20 January 2024 - 09:36 PM.


#7 kevin6876

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Posted 22 January 2024 - 09:01 PM

As a streetlight manager in the US and as a proud member of this forum, I've at least convinced the local constituency I work for about streetlighting, for as long as I will be there.  I've optimized the tariff system to game the lowest rate, used the lowest wattage fixtures (that are IDA compliant) I could purchase while lighting just over 1-footcandle on the ground (min per RP18 or whatever the code is), and then implemented network controls to game the tariff schedule even better.  Wouldn't doubt it if I've created the best managed streetlight network of any Rhode Island community.

 

While optimizing costs, by purchasing say a 30W LED fixture, running it at 19W (with a 20W tag) and then dimming it 50% from 11 PM to 5 AM and some other mid-block units part-night-off from 1 AM to 5 AM, I've sucessfully mangaged to minimize costs through an entire network of over 2500 nodes, reduce maintenance costs from $200k down to $30k, reduce energy consumption by 74% (forget how many kilo-watt hours, think it was like 750,000 kWhrs) and also (as this forum would suggest): reduced artificial light pollution at night (ALAN).

 

I've wrote to State Office of Energy Resource managers, other towns & cities, State DOT and private commercial/private industries about these changes.....and man, people are just so thick!  You dangle the money-saving carrot right in front of them and no one wants to own the problem.  It's that simple.

 

My boss is amazed at what I've done with just this one program, only because I have him convinced it would save the community $250k per year when the community was previously paying $430k per year for streetlights.  The move stockpiled so many credits and incentives, the community hasn't paid a streetlight bill in over 2.75 years.....that's right $0.00 dollars!  It's almost insane.  The electric company has owed the community so many credits it has taken this long to catch up on billing.  Once the electric utility finally catched up on billing it is only expected to cost $130k/year for consumption.  From $430k down to $130k.  That's a $300k savings!

 

Play the finance card with managers and leaders and you'll get far.  In the end, I'm just happy I reduced ALAN.  I will continue to do my part.   For anybody reading this, get out there, get involved in your community and convince them to make changes.  Just have the proof to back it up and light pollution can be reduced while saving a boat load of taxpayer cash.

 

Private commercial/industrial properties, they're still a problem.  I wrote laws, had them passed and chip away at them with the educational approach to comply, but its effectiveness is limited.  Some commerical enterprises do care, but many do not and go right over your head when they suspect municipal manipulation, even know its all in the name of environmental justice and stewardship.

 

Cheers....turn the lights off.


Edited by kevin6876, 22 January 2024 - 09:04 PM.

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#8 Takuan

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Posted 23 January 2024 - 12:51 PM

As a streetlight manager in the US and as a proud member of this forum, I've at least convinced the local constituency I work for about streetlighting, for as long as I will be there. I've optimized the tariff system to game the lowest rate, used the lowest wattage fixtures (that are IDA compliant) I could purchase while lighting just over 1-footcandle on the ground (min per RP18 or whatever the code is), and then implemented network controls to game the tariff schedule even better. Wouldn't doubt it if I've created the best managed streetlight network of any Rhode Island community.

While optimizing costs, by purchasing say a 30W LED fixture, running it at 19W (with a 20W tag) and then dimming it 50% from 11 PM to 5 AM and some other mid-block units part-night-off from 1 AM to 5 AM, I've sucessfully mangaged to minimize costs through an entire network of over 2500 nodes, reduce maintenance costs from $200k down to $30k, reduce energy consumption by 74% (forget how many kilo-watt hours, think it was like 750,000 kWhrs) and also (as this forum would suggest): reduced artificial light pollution at night (ALAN).

I've wrote to State Office of Energy Resource managers, other towns & cities, State DOT and private commercial/private industries about these changes.....and man, people are just so thick! You dangle the money-saving carrot right in front of them and no one wants to own the problem. It's that simple.

My boss is amazed at what I've done with just this one program, only because I have him convinced it would save the community $250k per year when the community was previously paying $430k per year for streetlights. The move stockpiled so many credits and incentives, the community hasn't paid a streetlight bill in over 2.75 years.....that's right $0.00 dollars! It's almost insane. The electric company has owed the community so many credits it has taken this long to catch up on billing. Once the electric utility finally catched up on billing it is only expected to cost $130k/year for consumption. From $430k down to $130k. That's a $300k savings!

Play the finance card with managers and leaders and you'll get far. In the end, I'm just happy I reduced ALAN. I will continue to do my part. For anybody reading this, get out there, get involved in your community and convince them to make changes. Just have the proof to back it up and light pollution can be reduced while saving a boat load of taxpayer cash.

Private commercial/industrial properties, they're still a problem. I wrote laws, had them passed and chip away at them with the educational approach to comply, but its effectiveness is limited. Some commerical enterprises do care, but many do not and go right over your head when they suspect municipal manipulation, even know its all in the name of environmental justice and stewardship.

Cheers....turn the lights off.


I suspect energy companies will disagree. They will take care of "convincing" the corresponding politician.

(Don't listen to me, I'm negative today)
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#9 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 23 January 2024 - 04:37 PM

Excellent Kevin! What you're doing, and what you've accomplished thus far, is highly commendable. Not just from an astronomer's point of view, obviously, but from budget planning point of view for a municipality/county/district striving to save tax-payer dollars and reduce carbon footprints. Please mention your position with any company or organization or add it to your profile because it only says "Civil Engineer".

 

I'm not sure if you've done this already, but you should be writing a detailed manual (some PDF or PowerPoint) so that any elected official as well as economist in a large company can benefit form the potentially large if not massive cost savings you've pointed out. Many thanks from me!


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#10 Fabricius

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Posted 23 January 2024 - 05:55 PM

To reach the right people in a corporate environment, try to find an employee involved in sustainability/environment/corporate resonsibility (watch for job titles like HSE officer, SHE manager, sustainability manager etc). They may be somewhat interested in the environmental impact of light pollution (and harm to the reputation of the company if the light pollution will continue). If you are able to gain their interest, they might be your stepping stone to more important managers and economists who will neglect lengthy papers, but are receptive to signals about possible cost savings. Office jargon: "low-hanging fruit".


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#11 kevin6876

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 10:57 AM

I suspect energy companies will disagree. They will take care of "convincing" the corresponding politician.

(Don't listen to me, I'm negative today)

National Grid was not thrilled about the community streetlight plan we rolled out after we procured the assets from them.  The plan removed over 400 units from service altogether, then played the game card to optimize tariff rate charges on the units that were converted.  Local Council was thrilled....saved over $250k each year for the last 2.5-years.  Also managed to secure rebate incentives from two agencies to pay for pretty much all the retrofit equipment.  Only thing the community paid for was contract services for installation.

 

What blows my mind about "convincing" politicians, it private business/commercial/industrial property all have to pay the bill, they're behind meters.  The electricity consumption bills must be enourmous?  Who wouldn't want to save money on something so simple like a light on or off, if you can?  World is a crazy place.


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#12 kevin6876

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 10:58 AM

To reach the right people in a corporate environment, try to find an employee involved in sustainability/environment/corporate resonsibility (watch for job titles like HSE officer, SHE manager, sustainability manager etc). They may be somewhat interested in the environmental impact of light pollution (and harm to the reputation of the company if the light pollution will continue). If you are able to gain their interest, they might be your stepping stone to more important managers and economists who will neglect lengthy papers, but are receptive to signals about possible cost savings. Office jargon: "low-hanging fruit".

I like this angle!


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#13 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 24 January 2024 - 05:16 PM

One more tidbit I'd like to add..

 

If a town, municipality or city has already switched to LED, they can still manage their new street-lights through one night - remotely or autonomously.

 

What they need to do is simply replace their old curbside switching boxes to dimming ones. These step-drop the voltage at certain idle hours, then raise the volts back to full output before dawn without anyone's control. Something like 90% of all LED conversions employ old networks intact. Here's an example of a curbside box with HPS in 2011, and later in 2019 the same box is still utilized with LED.

 

2019May+2011Aug.jpg

 

They can also take the smart route and install radio/microwave controlled boxes that can be tied in to a central control office. Signals can be transmitted from that office at whim for whatever purpose; traffic situations, dimming, poor weather, power stabilization, emergencies, etc. But a small city of say half a million citizens can have 100 or so of these old boxes scattered throughout, so the initial cost in replacing them can be high, but savings can be seen within a few years. A large city of more than a few million people can have hundreds of these boxes if not a thousand plus. A city like N.Y.C. can have up to 5000 of these boxes in its five boroughs.

 

If you haven't noticed them, these old boxes are everywhere. They always have a photocell at the top or poking out at one side (the mini cell) at about breast height. And I don't advise anyone to shine a pen light on one, because it takes some time (up to a minute) to turn off then back on and will be seen as suspicious activity.

 

Here's one for municipal parking lot...

 

Train-Station-Lot.jpg

 

A suburban box up on a halved column....

 

Suburban-Box.jpg

 

Or on a park trail, next to a road...

 

Park-Trail.jpg


Edited by GeorgeLiv, 24 January 2024 - 11:25 PM.

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#14 Takuan

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 05:38 AM

National Grid was not thrilled about the community streetlight plan we rolled out after we procured the assets from them. The plan removed over 400 units from service altogether, then played the game card to optimize tariff rate charges on the units that were converted. Local Council was thrilled....saved over $250k each year for the last 2.5-years. Also managed to secure rebate incentives from two agencies to pay for pretty much all the retrofit equipment. Only thing the community paid for was contract services for installation.

What blows my mind about "convincing" politicians, it private business/commercial/industrial property all have to pay the bill, they're behind meters. The electricity consumption bills must be enourmous? Who wouldn't want to save money on something so simple like a light on or off, if you can? World is a crazy place.


I don't know about the USA, but in my country politicians receive "awards", when they retire for services rendered from large corporations. I imagine that corruption is a human condition and common throughout the planet.

#15 calypsob

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Posted 27 January 2024 - 12:51 PM

I still dont understand why LED's dont just either turn off and not waste electricity when no one is around, or at least attenuate/ DIM all the way down to 5-10% of their normal operating output if no one is within a set distance of the light. It would make these a bit more tolerable. 


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#16 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 30 January 2024 - 11:12 PM

LED heads that dim on sensed motion are costlier and have had some problems. These problems are minimal compared to the energy savings for a company using a dozen or so high-watt floods.

 

For a town/city/suburb/municipality with hundreds if not a few thousand of low-watt street-lights, these heads become a burden. So it's just good enough for them to save on the cost for the consumed power by simply converting old street-lights to fixed lower power LED. Additionally, they don't have to worry about maintenance or employ maintenance people to trouble-shoot the costlier heads.

 

Imagine the savings that could be had by using both a dimming/curfew roadside cabinet PLUS a dimming LED head that have built-in IR sensors. But a lot of what has been done with LED recently was done in the past. They don't want to be bothered with technical aspects of running street-lights as long as there is dusk-to-dawn light, like before, cut consumption by half and as long as the heads stand up to the weather better than the former lights, then that's all that's needed.


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#17 earlyriser

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 06:00 AM

The city just replaced the HPS lights on a street I take to work with 4000K LED.  This street has five lanes (four traffic plus a center left turn lane), a 35 MPH speed limit, and passes through a commercial area (office buildings/stores).  The street itself was put in within the last decade, so the HPS streetlights are relatively new.  Not sure if this had an impact on their choice of wattage for the HPS lights.  Before and after photos below:

 

HPS Lamp (Google Maps 2022).png

 

Lamp Head 2024-02-05.jpg

 

I don't have a before lux measurement, but I took readings on three of the lights this morning, and got an average value of 66.0 lux (range of 64-67 lux).  I stood in the middle of the two traffic lanes directly across from the light, which looked like the brightest spot, and took the readings at about 3 feed off the ground.  

 

As a check, I stopped and measured light levels for similar LED lights on a 6-lane road with a 35 MPH speed limit that connects downtown to neighboring areas and an interstate highway.  The lux levels there averaged 29.7 lux, although there was more variation (range of 24.3-34.0 lux).  These lights have been in operation for a few years. A Google Maps picture of them is below.  They appear be the same type of light, but do not have the same markings as the new lights. 

 

LED Lamps Gilbert Ave 2022.jpg

 

If memory serves, most streetlights I've measured produce values of between 30-40 lux directly below the light.  So, the new ones seem to be set too high.  I'm also less than thrilled with the selection of 4000K over 3000K.


Edited by earlyriser, 06 February 2024 - 09:42 AM.

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#18 earlyriser

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 06:12 AM

As a streetlight manager in the US and as a proud member of this forum, I've at least convinced the local constituency I work for about streetlighting, for as long as I will be there.  I've optimized the tariff system to game the lowest rate, used the lowest wattage fixtures (that are IDA compliant) I could purchase while lighting just over 1-footcandle on the ground (min per RP18 or whatever the code is), and then implemented network controls to game the tariff schedule even better.  Wouldn't doubt it if I've created the best managed streetlight network of any Rhode Island community.

 

While optimizing costs, by purchasing say a 30W LED fixture, running it at 19W (with a 20W tag) and then dimming it 50% from 11 PM to 5 AM and some other mid-block units part-night-off from 1 AM to 5 AM, I've sucessfully mangaged to minimize costs through an entire network of over 2500 nodes, reduce maintenance costs from $200k down to $30k, reduce energy consumption by 74% (forget how many kilo-watt hours, think it was like 750,000 kWhrs) and also (as this forum would suggest): reduced artificial light pollution at night (ALAN).

 

I've wrote to State Office of Energy Resource managers, other towns & cities, State DOT and private commercial/private industries about these changes.....and man, people are just so thick!  You dangle the money-saving carrot right in front of them and no one wants to own the problem.  It's that simple.

 

My boss is amazed at what I've done with just this one program, only because I have him convinced it would save the community $250k per year when the community was previously paying $430k per year for streetlights.  The move stockpiled so many credits and incentives, the community hasn't paid a streetlight bill in over 2.75 years.....that's right $0.00 dollars!  It's almost insane.  The electric company has owed the community so many credits it has taken this long to catch up on billing.  Once the electric utility finally catched up on billing it is only expected to cost $130k/year for consumption.  From $430k down to $130k.  That's a $300k savings!

 

Play the finance card with managers and leaders and you'll get far.  In the end, I'm just happy I reduced ALAN.  I will continue to do my part.   For anybody reading this, get out there, get involved in your community and convince them to make changes.  Just have the proof to back it up and light pollution can be reduced while saving a boat load of taxpayer cash.

 

Private commercial/industrial properties, they're still a problem.  I wrote laws, had them passed and chip away at them with the educational approach to comply, but its effectiveness is limited.  Some commerical enterprises do care, but many do not and go right over your head when they suspect municipal manipulation, even know its all in the name of environmental justice and stewardship.

 

Cheers....turn the lights off.

Do you mind if I use these numbers when I write the city about our streetlights?  


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#19 Diana N

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 11:01 AM

To reach the right people in a corporate environment, try to find an employee involved in sustainability/environment/corporate resonsibility (watch for job titles like HSE officer, SHE manager, sustainability manager etc). They may be somewhat interested in the environmental impact of light pollution (and harm to the reputation of the company if the light pollution will continue). If you are able to gain their interest, they might be your stepping stone to more important managers and economists who will neglect lengthy papers, but are receptive to signals about possible cost savings. Office jargon: "low-hanging fruit".

It might also help to remind the power company that the electricity being used to power excessive lighting will soon be needed to power electric cars.



#20 calypsob

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 11:57 AM

As a streetlight manager in the US and as a proud member of this forum, I've at least convinced the local constituency I work for about streetlighting, for as long as I will be there.  I've optimized the tariff system to game the lowest rate, used the lowest wattage fixtures (that are IDA compliant) I could purchase while lighting just over 1-footcandle on the ground (min per RP18 or whatever the code is), and then implemented network controls to game the tariff schedule even better.  Wouldn't doubt it if I've created the best managed streetlight network of any Rhode Island community.

 

While optimizing costs, by purchasing say a 30W LED fixture, running it at 19W (with a 20W tag) and then dimming it 50% from 11 PM to 5 AM and some other mid-block units part-night-off from 1 AM to 5 AM, I've sucessfully mangaged to minimize costs through an entire network of over 2500 nodes, reduce maintenance costs from $200k down to $30k, reduce energy consumption by 74% (forget how many kilo-watt hours, think it was like 750,000 kWhrs) and also (as this forum would suggest): reduced artificial light pollution at night (ALAN).

 

I've wrote to State Office of Energy Resource managers, other towns & cities, State DOT and private commercial/private industries about these changes.....and man, people are just so thick!  You dangle the money-saving carrot right in front of them and no one wants to own the problem.  It's that simple.

 

My boss is amazed at what I've done with just this one program, only because I have him convinced it would save the community $250k per year when the community was previously paying $430k per year for streetlights.  The move stockpiled so many credits and incentives, the community hasn't paid a streetlight bill in over 2.75 years.....that's right $0.00 dollars!  It's almost insane.  The electric company has owed the community so many credits it has taken this long to catch up on billing.  Once the electric utility finally catched up on billing it is only expected to cost $130k/year for consumption.  From $430k down to $130k.  That's a $300k savings!

 

Play the finance card with managers and leaders and you'll get far.  In the end, I'm just happy I reduced ALAN.  I will continue to do my part.   For anybody reading this, get out there, get involved in your community and convince them to make changes.  Just have the proof to back it up and light pollution can be reduced while saving a boat load of taxpayer cash.

 

Private commercial/industrial properties, they're still a problem.  I wrote laws, had them passed and chip away at them with the educational approach to comply, but its effectiveness is limited.  Some commerical enterprises do care, but many do not and go right over your head when they suspect municipal manipulation, even know its all in the name of environmental justice and stewardship.

 

Cheers....turn the lights off.

The sad but big issue here is that a drastic cut in utility cost will warrant a drastic budget reduction, and big cities in particular are very careful to ensure that they actually need a budget increase, not a cut.
 

This concept you have drawn up imo would be most effective in smaller cities and towns where the municipality utility budget is a problem. Additionally if you can get the local energy authorities on board, you may be able to locally incentivize motion activated lighting. If you want commercial business on board, they need to have a way to cut taxes or earn tax credits.


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#21 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 06 February 2024 - 11:51 PM

400 watts HPS was a lot of light, something like 55,000 initial Lumens from good lamps, typically consuming about 455 watts. For 400 watt HPS, the initial system efficacy was about 121 Lm/watt.

 

Sadly, I had the opportunity to get the lux from a 400w HPS refractor head just once, probably from an older installation with burn-in. Still it was at 55 lux (!) near the nadir towards the center of the boulevard (~8 feet from the true nadir). I've measured the lux below many 250w HPS heads. Full-cutoff 250w HPS heads had something like 67-75 lux near the nadir. Very old refractor heads had just 11 Lux. I always measure the lux flat on the surface (horizontal lux), never above, as it actually makes a big difference (drop or gain by 1/d2).

 

The city just replaced the HPS lights on a street I take to work with 4000K LED.  This street has five lanes (four traffic plus a center left turn lane), a 35 MPH speed limit, and passes through a commercial area (office buildings/stores).  The street itself was put in within the last decade, so the HPS streetlights are relatively new.  Not sure if this had an impact on their choice of wattage for the HPS lights.  Before and after photos below:

 

attachicon.gif HPS Lamp (Google Maps 2022).png

 

attachicon.gif Lamp Head 2024-02-05.jpg

 

I don't have a before lux measurement, but I took readings on three of the lights this morning, and got an average value of 66.0 lux (range of 64-67 lux).  I stood in the middle of the two traffic lanes directly across from the light, which looked like the brightest spot, and took the readings at about 3 feed off the ground.  

 

As a check, I stopped and measured light levels for similar LED lights on a 6-lane road with a 35 MPH speed limit that connects downtown to neighboring areas and an interstate highway.  The lux levels there averaged 29.7 lux, although there was more variation (range of 24.3-34.0 lux).  These lights have been in operation for a few years. A Google Maps picture of them is below.  They appear be the same type of light, but do not have the same markings as the new lights. 

 

attachicon.gif LED Lamps Gilbert Ave 2022.jpg

 

If memory serves, most streetlights I've measured produce values of between 30-40 lux directly below the light.  So, the new ones seem to be set too high.  I'm also less than thrilled with the selection of 4000K over 3000K.

The LED heads you're showing are Cree XSP2 models. The typical watts and most common really, with 10 hi-powered diodes set in two modules (like 5 dots on dice), are set fixed at 101 watts. This has been a very popular model in N.A. since around 2015, typically at 101 watts. Actually, I'm quite surprised that the 1st XSP2 above is driven @180 watts! Additionally, it's quite rare to have the Kelvin rating on the NEMA tag. This wattage was undoubtedly chosen to match the brightness of the 400 watt HPS heads. I know that the 101 watt has (or had) 9600 Lumens. So that its system efficacy is only 95 Lm/w. Let's say the 180 watt version is higher @ 110 Lm/w so that 180 watts translates to about 19,800 initial Lumens, and that is all. But, I do see the 24,000 Lms marked, which is another unusual bit of info on the tag. Therefore, it's purportedly rated at 133 initial Lm /w (which I have some doubts).

 

Personally, I think anything above 30 lux is a good deal of light. Of course the LED heads concentrate most of their light down, and that's why the 180watt were chosen for the 400 HPS. The spill from the old HPS refractor heads is gone forever, good riddance. I think what you've got now is ok. The CREE XPS2 models are a good choice, long lived, dependable with only a little lumen decline. See here for the light pattern from the 101w heads.
 


Edited by GeorgeLiv, 07 February 2024 - 01:28 AM.


#22 earlyriser

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 09:23 AM

 I like to measure lux flat when I can as well.  Unfortunately, there was still enough traffic at 5:00 AM that I felt more comfortable staying mobile while I took the readings.  I think the lights were about 30 feet above the ground, so the reading at ground level was probably closer to (27/30)^2*66 = 53.46 lux if my math is correct. 53 lux seems about right. 

 

The street was illuminated more brightly than usual with the HPS lights as well.  Not sure why, maybe the road is designated as requiring higher levels of illumination than other thoroughfares in the area for some reason.

 

Do you think the lower lux levels on the older LED lights is due to aging, or because they are lower wattage lights?


Edited by earlyriser, 07 February 2024 - 09:23 AM.

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#23 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 07 February 2024 - 11:39 PM

That roadway with the 180watt XSP2, formerly 400w HPS, is likely serving a mix of pedestrians, bicycle and vehicle traffic. From what I'm able to determine from my freeways (Autoroutes here in Quebec) with limited access, it's more common to see 250w HPS (or 200w HPS with FCO & semi-cutoff glass). The ministry of transportation here still has HPS on the highways.

 

The lower Lux XSP2s are of lower watt for sure. It's the 101 watt versions with a high probability. Try & travel around on that roadway with Google street-view to see if you can find a head with a tag.

 

Makers for all LED lighting devices are continually improving their lumen output. Assume about 130 Lm/W for higher power LED street-lights today. Or 100 Lm/W for heads lower than ~85 system watts. Warm-toned heads, those rated at 2700K, are slightly less efficacious. Older heads, those installed near 2015, should have had an initial efficacy of 80 (bottom end) to 110 (maximum) Lm/Watt. Old heads, additionally, should also have about 15-20% lumen decline by now...so say 120watt XSP2 heads installed 7-8 years ago will easily have approximately the lux you're finding underneath.

 

Btw, you can tell approximately when an LED street-light was installed by the color tone. 2700K wasn't installed before the year 2018. 4000K heads were the lowest color temperature installed by 2016. Anything older will be cooler, and if particularly you sense any green tint, these are probably 8 years old or more.

 

Or, once again, use Google street-view to actually see when they were installed, and possibly see what was there before, because some views go back to the year 2007, although the resolution is low in those first few years.

 

 I like to measure lux flat when I can as well.  Unfortunately, there was still enough traffic at 5:00 AM that I felt more comfortable staying mobile while I took the readings.  I think the lights were about 30 feet above the ground, so the reading at ground level was probably closer to (27/30)^2*66 = 53.46 lux if my math is correct. 53 lux seems about right. 

 

The street was illuminated more brightly than usual with the HPS lights as well.  Not sure why, maybe the road is designated as requiring higher levels of illumination than other thoroughfares in the area for some reason.

 

Do you think the lower lux levels on the older LED lights is due to aging, or because they are lower wattage lights?

 



#24 earlyriser

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Posted 09 February 2024 - 02:20 PM

Just as a follow-up, this is what the road looks like at night.  Exposure was set to EV4.  It looks like the LED lights are better at confining the light to just the road.  This explains how they maintain equal or greater lux levels on the road with lower lumens than the HPS had.  

 

Kennedy Connector A.jpg

 

Kennedy Connector B.jpg

 

I'm thinking I should start taking pictures of the HPS illuminated streets so that I have some before photos for the next conversion. 

 

I am concerned that the higher amount of short wave spectral content (blue light) of LED versus HPS will outweigh any benefits the lower amount of lumens will have on sky glow. The IDA claims that lumen-for-lumen, 4000K lights cause about 2.7x (or 170%) more sky glow than the HPS lighting.

 

https://flagstaffdar...ing-dark-skies/


Edited by earlyriser, 09 February 2024 - 02:31 PM.


#25 GeorgeLiv

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Posted 11 February 2024 - 07:22 PM

To check their spill, I went ahead & increased the brightness & contrast of your images.

 

post-264501-0-1-2.jpg

 

I see no (or very little) spill.  These LED heads restrict their light quite nicely. If you had 400w old refractor heads, everything around the roads would have been lit up!

 

Yes, I do suggest/recommend that you go around remaining HPS lit streets & lots to get some before pics. I'm not sure of the capabilities of your mirrorless camera, but from what I imagine, what you'll need is discussed here.

 

Just an FYI, by any stretch of the imagination, this type of "before & after" pic-exercise is not easy. Expect 20% of your work to involve shooting the original HPS view and securing all the data/info. About 40% will involve the re-shoot which will involve extra attention to setup & settings. And 40% of your work will involve the presentation (maybe more). I mentioned here on CN that I'd be posting such a before & after thread at least a year ago and counting, as I found this task difficult, as well as time consuming. But I encourage everyone to do this before & after comparison for their very own local roads.

 

Just as a follow-up, this is what the road looks like at night.  Exposure was set to EV4.  It looks like the LED lights are better at confining the light to just the road.  This explains how they maintain equal or greater lux levels on the road with lower lumens than the HPS had.  

 

attachicon.gif Kennedy Connector A.jpg

 

attachicon.gif Kennedy Connector B.jpg

 

I'm thinking I should start taking pictures of the HPS illuminated streets so that I have some before photos for the next conversion. 

 

I am concerned that the higher amount of short wave spectral content (blue light) of LED versus HPS will outweigh any benefits the lower amount of lumens will have on sky glow. The IDA claims that lumen-for-lumen, 4000K lights cause about 2.7x (or 170%) more sky glow than the HPS lighting.

 

https://flagstaffdar...ing-dark-skies/

 




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