Thread Number: 72947  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Still getting used to LED lights
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Post# 963645   10/21/2017 at 10:17 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

I'm slowly getting used to the LED streetlights in my area. There are a couple of sodium vapor yard lights left, but the PoCO is replacing them all with LED fixtures when the bulbs go out. My neighbor across the street once had a mercury vapor fixture, it got replaced with a sodium vapor from the PoCO, and last year an LED. I noticed the LED doesn't light up my bedroom like the sodium did, I miss that. The mercury vapor fixture is still on the post.

I miss the warmth that the sodium had, plus they seemed to light better. The LEDs - sometimes feel like football stadium lights, or that nighttime light that TV shows have for dramatic effect - it feels cold and stark sometimes.

Also noticed a lot of our highway cobra fixtures replaced with LED, all the major ones, but the ones in areas outside of town are still sodium - for now.

I miss seeing the older mercury cobra fixtures in my area, they have all disappeared mostly except for some downtown. The high school parking lot has a HUGE square sodium vapor that still works last I saw.

Also like the cylindrical fixtures with hat on top - one old bank parking lot downtown has them, one subdivision has them, and a few houses in my area have them for yard lights.

Remember one old shopping center downtown had the four mercury vapor cobras on a four arm mount on a pole. All since been replaced with single or quad units.

Post# 963646 , Reply# 1   10/21/2017 at 10:22 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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I think the LED from my street light across the street goes right into my room! In fact I often think (and my daughter even sometimes asks if) that it's Daylight...

(Gotta get back to the 'Streetlights' thread, as our street lighting has changed once again & in an even shorter time to those LED's...)

-- Dave

Post# 963649 , Reply# 2   10/21/2017 at 10:38 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
light pollution and ineffective lighting.

in my area seems LED lights are more often installed as "bling"on buildings instead for effective lighting-many have that nasty blue tinged ~6500k color temp and glare brightly,many not on a control and blazing away uselessly in the daytime :)Lamposts downtown had sodium bulbs in them and gave a pleasant.effective glow-about a year ago,LED retrofit bulbs were installed in place of the sodium and lighting nowhere near as effective lighting as the sodium...I like LEDs properly used though,and my local Runnings store,built in 2015, has good,effective LED lighting installed.I use quite a few LEDs at home and at the shop in application where they do good.

Post# 963651 , Reply# 3   10/21/2017 at 10:47 by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

Many of the stores here have replaced their sodium wall pack fixtures with LED units, as well as the canopy lighting at fuel stations now LED. Even a lot of signage now uses LED back lighting instead of florescent.

The new house next door to me has LED fixtures, the outside ones have a nice warm tone to them. The ones I see inside the windows at night have a cold bluish glow that I would find annoying.

Post# 963664 , Reply# 4   10/21/2017 at 12:23 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Many of our traffic lights have been replaced with LED's but the problem is during a snowstorm, the LED's do not give off heat to melt the snow, rendering them dangerous and essentially useless.

Post# 963676 , Reply# 5   10/21/2017 at 14:07 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Tim, what is the design of the LED lights that snow accumulation is an issue on? Here in MN we sometimes get snow (although yours is possibly more wet and clingy then ours) and I have never seen a problem.

Most of the LED street and parking lot lights here have the LED's as a flat array underneath the lamp so accumulation isn't a problem.

The big benefit that will someday come with LED lighting is when they start to use motion sensors to switch them off when they aren't needed. Think of all the parking areas we light at night, all night that could be dark until a car drives in there! Something vapor discharge lights could never do since they don't start fast.

Post# 963687 , Reply# 6   10/21/2017 at 15:37 by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Phil, its the regular traffic lights that have the problem with it sticking to the red, yellow, green. Normally snow comes with wind and being so close to the Atlantic, it is more wet, sticky and like shoveling cement.

Post# 963720 , Reply# 7   10/21/2017 at 19:00 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I don't like the new LED street lights the PoCo put in last year. It's harder to see as they only light a tiny section directly below, and the bright white is unsettling. They could've at least gone for warm white. The lights in the park are PoCo owned and they replaced all but the one that dimly shines on my bedroom window at night.
We have a lot of LED stop lights too and I have seen the snow get stuck over them before as well.

Post# 963731 , Reply# 8   10/21/2017 at 20:06 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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The sodium vapor street light in our cul-de-sac was replaced this past year with a much brighter LED lamp.

It seems to cast more shadows, as well as reaching farther than the old light. That much is appreciated as it reduces the possibility of crime.

However, the color rendition must be very low. I refer to such light as "gray light", because everything seems so lifeless under it.

I suspect the reason is that such white light with poor color rendition is the cheapest and most energy efficient way to produce illumination. At least that was my observation with the earliest LED bulbs: for the same wattage the "daylight" bulbs produced more lumens than the "warm white" bulbs. Or, more precisely, for the same lumens the daylight bulbs consumed fewer watts than the warm white bulbs. For a while I purchased daylight bulbs instead of warm white ones, until I realized the colder light was making it more difficult to get to sleep at night.

In the meantime, companies like FEIT apparently figured out how to make LED lamps of any color temp with great color rendition, while still being energy efficient. These are mostly what I buy these days, and at Costco they are often heavily discounted with instant rebates from the local power company.

When I moved in here, initially I didn't like the yellow light of the sodium vapor light. But as time went on, I got used to it. I even got yellowish LED lamps for the porch and coach lights out front to blend in with it. Now those are a great contrast to the gray light from the new street lamp. Oh well, can't have everything. Maybe I'll write a letter to the city asking for the next replacement lamp to have a warmer tone as well as better color rendition. Not that it will do anything.

Post# 963814 , Reply# 9   10/22/2017 at 02:55 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The lot lights at work were replaced with LED-used to be Westinghouse "Silverliners"250W,400W mercury and newer GE 250W,400W mercury.So far after 4 yrs the LEDS AEL Electric 215W are doing fine.The fluorescent bulbs in the indoor lights are now LED tube type bulbs.I have some of the old Silverliners that used to be at the station.One had a blown ballast-replaced it with a 400W HPS S51 ballast I had laying around.The others still work-ballasts over 50yrs old!! and have some of the spare mercury bulbs that used to be here-they were going to be tossed if I didn't save them.On Greenville BVD there is a section lit with LED cobrahead and another lit with HPS-Like the H:PS better-its amber light cuts thru fog,rain,icy rain,what little snow we get better than LED.HPS and Ceramic Metal Halide still have BETTER lumens per watt that LED.I do have LED portable lights and some LED light bulbs-they do work just fine.I also have some CMH lights that I like better than LED.The ceramic metal halide color rendition is better than LED.

Post# 963824 , Reply# 10   10/22/2017 at 06:21 by earthling177 (Boston, MA)        

I think there's some confusion with the way the new fixtures disperse the light, color rendition and temperature.

I think that the new lamp post fixtures are designed to disperse the light in a new pattern that tends to keep the light from polluting the sky and directs it much more to the streets than to the sidewalks in an effort to prevent folks who complain about excess light in their bedrooms from 'disabling' the lights or failing to call when a bulb finally burns out. If we put an older bulb in such fixture, we'd see the same light distribution, only in a different color temp and color rendition. It's just a coincidence that such new fixtures are being deployed with LEDs.

There are certainly bulbs on the expensive side of the spectrum that can be dimmed and can be set to any of millions of colors, including very bright blueish light, a yellowish light that simulates "sodium" bulbs, a greenish light that you could swear was the old mercury bulbs, the standard "incandescent" bulb etc. It's great fun to play with, but I doubt that towns/cities will install those for street lighting. People who are curious can google, one of the bulbs is Philips Hue. There are other brands and protocols available.

I'm also old enough to remember when people started complaining about all the mercury bulbs being replaced by sodium bulbs and how they hated the yellow it cast everywhere etc. You just can't please everyone, and people tend to prefer the stuff they they are accustomed to.

On yet another hand, I, for one, will not miss the loooooong time it took for mercury lamps to cool down enough so they could be restarted when the power went out or they were accidentally switched off and then on. The sodium lamps didn't take that long, but still took a long time.

I, for one, am pretty happy with the LED lights and I echo Phil in welcoming lights that work on demand.

Post# 964327 , Reply# 11   10/26/2017 at 00:25 by sudsmaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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Oh, LED lights are fine with me.

The rub is what KIND of LED.

I'm not a big fan of low CRI LED's, which is what the new streetlights here seem to be.

Also they cast light everywhere. If it weren't for the big magnolia tree in my front yard, I'd be complaining about the new light streaming into the living room. As it is, the bedrooms here face away from the street, so there isn't a problem with that. Not sure what my neighbors, some of whom have bedrooms facing the street, think about the new light.

The old streetlight was high pressure sodium. I did not like the light when I first moved here, but slowly it grew on me, especially when I got yellowish LED (vintage looking, 2300K) lights for the porch and lamp post. Now they sort of look out of place in the gray light. Even worse are the low pressure sodium lights, which blanket the San Jose area - or at least they used to. I remember seeing them light up Market Street in SF in the 70's. Awful. Made it look like a war zone.

Post# 964330 , Reply# 12   10/26/2017 at 00:54 by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Mercury-to-Sodium: I think I remember that sort of thing, down to a neighbor, whose house I was at, and this was kitty-corner, at the corner of the street I grew up on, before she, then later, me, grew up & moved out, saying "there was a new street light out there", but I vividly remember seeing the white-glow of a mercury, coming off of a suspended-wire-globe, than her to have quoted her saying that to the now-familiar sodium cobra-head, running off of the antiquated wooden pole, that even there, houses those new LED's, once unique to the side of town that I now live in--They start in refined NORTH Oak Park, before working back to EIGHT MILE...

-- Dave

Post# 964340 , Reply# 13   10/26/2017 at 06:14 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        

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Our sodium streetlights with their distinctive orange glow (which fired in every direction), have been replaced by these modern low-energy LED lamps.

These new LED lamps fire their pale white light downwards, creating pools of light around the lamp standard, but not much beyond. The advantage now is that the stars and Aurora Borealis can be seen with far better clarity. I like to look at the night sky.

Post# 964669 , Reply# 14   10/28/2017 at 11:26 by cornutt (Huntsville, AL USA)        

A lot of places are converting their fixtures to "full cutoff" as they go to LED lighting, which as an amateur astronomer I appreciate. But yeah, sometimes they don't get the right diffusers on them, and then you get the alternating light and dark areas that produce the strobe effect as you drive down the road. And I've seen some that didn't have any diffusers at all -- the lamp is a very bright point source that makes you see spots if it gets into your field of vision.

Post# 964761 , Reply# 15   10/28/2017 at 23:20 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

Driving down I-80 in Illinois at night the other day I saw they replaced many of the HPS lights with LED. Unlike the LED's my utility company has been using, those ones had a much wider light pattern and they did an excellent job lighting up the road. But again they're stark white and everything looks sterile now, which I don't like.

Post# 964764 , Reply# 16   10/28/2017 at 23:57 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The AEL LED "streetlights" here at work- we call them "lot lights" give a warm color-NOT the cold blue-white typical LED streetlights give.The AEL warm white LED is much better-ALL LED streetlights could benefit from the diffusers used on older HID streetlights-as the LED lights now are-they are glare bombs!

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