When I walk my dog first thing in the morning and right before I go to bed at night, it’s dark. It’s no big deal because I live in the city and there are streetlights strategically placed along the way.
But a month or so ago, I received a notice from the electric company that it will be replacing all of the existing streetlights in my part of town. The old high-pressure-sodium-vapor (HPSV) lights will be replaced with what the electric company called “efficient, long-lasting light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures.”
These new LED streetlights are supposed to last a lot longer than the old HPSV lights and they also use a lot less energy, so the cost of lighting up the city at night will be reduced. (And yet my local taxes continue to go up.)
But what is more important is that LEDs provide a brighter, whiter, more natural-looking and evenly distributed light compared with the older streetlights, which cast a dull, yellowish glow.
So just last week, the electric company finished the job in my neighborhood. And the good news is that, with the new lights, all the streets are very well lighted, much more so than with the older streetlights.
But there is one downside to the new LED streetlights. Because they focus a brighter, whiter, more intense light across a wider area with fewer dark spots, they also darken the night sky visibility above the streetlights. When I walk my dog at night, I used to be able to see a sky full of stars when I looked up. Now, with the LEDs, I can still see the moon when I look up, but not many stars.
I miss seeing the stars at night when I walk my dog.