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The lights shine clear through the sodium haze

By Pommy bastard - 27 April 2009 43

While out on my early evening perambulation with my dogs on the Northside the other evening, I noticed that a number of the street lights had been changed from the usual dull orange, to a sharp and bright white light. Ok, no problem with that. A few evenings later I noticed that whole streets had been changed over to these.

Now my street has been converted to these “Auschwitz spotlights”.

It’s not a case of replacing bulbs when they blow, but of replacing whole street sections. Which must be an expense. The new lights are bright and sharp, too bright for my tastes. They also cover a wide arc, which is fine for walking, but not so good if they come in through your bedroom window, and like me, you need pitch black to sleep.

Are they “an experiment”, “more green,” “less expensive in the long run,” “mandated”, “just done to annoy Pommy”?

The lights shine clear through the sodium haze
The night draws near and the daylight fades
But there’s a voice in the distance quiet and clear
Saying something that I never ever wanted to hear

What’s Your opinion?


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43 Responses to
The lights shine clear through the sodium haze
kaydo 1:00 pm 27 Apr 09

Yeah I assumed it was fog too.

I live in Belco and recently found the white lights on my street replaced with orange ones. It was weird, but I guess they got moved to the southside. Mystery solved.

Deckard 12:53 pm 27 Apr 09

I always thought that orange lights were for the fog.

ant 12:50 pm 27 Apr 09

Cancel
deye 12:13 pm 27 Apr 09

mutley said :

I thought the orange lights were used in Canberra to reduce the effect of light interference on Stromlo observatory.

That was my recollection too which has the side benefit of Canberra being a city where the general public can actually look up and see the stars. I guess that is going to be a thing of the past soon.

arescarti42 12:10 pm 27 Apr 09

Pommy bastard said :

johnboy said :

Get thee some curtains if you need a blackout room to sleep pommy!

Velvet drapes my dear John, velvet drapes…

Velour is where it’s at.

I often wonder about why we need streetlights. It makes sense along major roads and intersections where there is likely to be traffic after dark, but illuminating the suburbs seems like a waste of electricity to me.

The cat did it 11:46 am 27 Apr 09

The old lights were low pressure sodium lamps, chosen mainly because they were very cheap to operate, thanks to long service life and low power consumption, There would have been some benefit for Stromlo too, as the very distinctive Sodium spectrum would have been readily identifiable. (this is long before the days of compact fluorescent lamps). Don’t know what the new ones are.

ant 11:43 am 27 Apr 09

Sodium lights are horrendous things. There’s a couple of monsters blazing away at HQ JOC every night, and I cannot fathom the need for them. They shine for kms, casting their light on everything in their path.

Ari 11:42 am 27 Apr 09

Orange lights cut through fog much better.

seekay 11:35 am 27 Apr 09

Street lights in Canberra! Whatever next? Footpaths?

mutley 11:16 am 27 Apr 09

I thought the orange lights were used in Canberra to reduce the effect of light interference on Stromlo observatory.

Pommy bastard 11:15 am 27 Apr 09

johnboy said :

Get thee some curtains if you need a blackout room to sleep pommy!

Velvet drapes my dear John, velvet drapes…

trevar 11:07 am 27 Apr 09

dvaey said :

Isnt the whole reason for the orange lights, because your eyes adjust to it easier? Isnt that why tunnels use orange lights? For the same reason that you dont use white light in a photograph developing darkroom, but red or orange lights.

Wouldnt the white lights start to cause more accidents as drivers eyes have a harder time adjusting?

I understood that to be the reason why the Europeans used orange headlights.

dvaey 10:56 am 27 Apr 09

Isnt the whole reason for the orange lights, because your eyes adjust to it easier? Isnt that why tunnels use orange lights? For the same reason that you dont use white light in a photograph developing darkroom, but red or orange lights.

Wouldnt the white lights start to cause more accidents as drivers eyes have a harder time adjusting?

trevar 10:38 am 27 Apr 09

No idea about the reasoning, and it doesn’t effect me much because I live on a battleaxe block, but I’m on your side anyway, PB.

I’ve always wondered why we want street lights at all. Has the moon ceased to shine? Once a month (I’m a slow learner) when walking from our carport to our house, I have to look up to find out where the light’s coming from (thinking there’s a searchlight beaming down on me from above) only to find it’s just the full moon! Street lights could at least be turned off for the weeks when the moon is full.

I have a vague recollection that street lights were popularised when Jack the Ripper was out and about in London, but I’m not sure they’re making the streets any safer in the 21st century, because there are lights everywhere anyway now.

Su8rely they can’t be ‘greener’, because apart from the energy consumption (which is possibly lower (though this is unlikely)) they also create havoc for wildlife, by changing ecosystems.

Regardless of whether lights are necessary, warranted, or otherwise, I do highly recommend window shutters, though. We’ve had them for a year or so and apart from keeping out street lights, they’re great insulators, and they make it possible to watch television in daytime without the pesky sun becoming a problem.

johnboy 10:31 am 27 Apr 09

I think it’s great if Canberra’s finally getting decent street lighting.

Get thee some curtains if you need a blackout room to sleep pommy!

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