Here is my initial reaction to the newly installed LED lights outside the Village of Great Neck Village Hall: THEY ARE ALL TOO BRIGHT!!!
Our village government has decided to use a combination of 3,000K and 4,000K lights, the latter to be installed on every corner. This is totally unsatisfactory. There is no justification for using 4,000K bulbs (except possibly for cost, which is not worth it). People are now moving away from 4,000K, mainly due to the recommendation of the American Medical Association to use lights no higher than 3,000K. Why can’t we do this too? Please remember that 4,000K is not brighter than 3,000K. It emits more of the dangerous blue light, which gives it that “alien,” unpleasant look. Why bother with these?
Mayor Bral, please learn from the experience of others!!! In Davis, CA, the city conducted a pilot test with two types of LED fixtures: one with 2,115 lumens and 4,000K CCT and the other 2,326 lumens and 5,700K CCT. Based on the feedback from the test, the city made the decision to use 27-watt/2,800 lumens fixtures with 4,000K CCT color temperature. After complaints subsequent to the actual installation, the fixtures were replaced with 19-watt bulbs, with 1,800 lumens and 2,700K CCT. What obviously happened in Davis was that the public was not given a proper choice of bulbs in the initial pilot test. We seem to be falling into that trap as well. I’m not saying that we need precisely the same bulbs as Davis ended up with, but something in that range.
Recommendation: Let’s see a wider variety of bulbs before making a decision. Although I don’t like any of the bulbs currently installed, I’d have to say that the cobra style (near Cambridge) is the worst, because it has bare bulbs. In addition, it actually does not provide a particularly good spread of light. Tentatively, I prefer the fixture directly opposite the Village Hall, but again, it’s not satisfactory as is—it’s too bright!
To the Public: Send a firm message to Mayor Bral to delay this project, and insist on bulbs that are no higher than 3,000K—preferably 2,700K (this is the figure for our old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, and what many cities are opting for).
Recently, St. Paul, MN, has installed bulbs in which one can adjust the Kelvin!!! I quote from a recent technical article: “The system is, reportedly, able to regulate the amount of potentially unhealthy blue light that is emitted from street lighting.” (Lux Magazine, Feb 1, 2017)
I’m not saying that we have to have these particular bulbs. My point is that the technology is still under development, with new features coming out all the time. This is not in any way a “mature” technology, as Bart Sobel stated several weeks ago. Just the opposite is true.
I do understand the allure of LED lights. However, I still feel that this is not the optimal time to invest in them, given that we won’t have the funds to simply replace them when something far superior becomes available, possibly even with the next year. I don’t have an inside track as to the technological developments, but it’s clear that scientists are working very hard to provide the public with a better product than what we have right now. Let others be the guinea pigs—we can sit back awhile and see how it all shakes out.