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City of Phoenix looking to overhaul some 100,000 lights with LED bulbs

  • Update:02-04-2016
  • Abst:

    The City of Phoenix thinks LED is the way of the future […]

    The City of Phoenix thinks LED is the way of the future. Leaders want to overhaul some 100,000 light poles with the new age bulbs. But some people worry LED street lights are too bright and will impact the city's dark sky.

    Some Phoenix streets already have LED lights shining on them. For instance, there are both traditional, yellow-tinted bulbs and LED lights at the intersection of Seventh Ave. and Van Buren St. That's because the city has been replacing the old, yellowish bulbs when they burn out with LEDs since 2012.

    Erica Reza, for example, prefers a well lit path. "As a woman and a bicyclist, I'm definitely not as comfortable in the evenings." She lives and works in Phoenix's Roosevelt district which is lined with brighter light. "You can actually look down Grand Avenue and it's so much more illuminated," Reza said.

    Phoenix leaders think the whiter, LED bulbs should illuminate all of Phoenix. "They're more energy efficient," said Charlene Reynolds, the city's deputy streets director.

    Officials are soliciting projects bids to replace 95,000 street lights and another 5,000 park poles with LED fixtures. "We would save anywhere from $2 million to $2.8 million, including maintenance, per year," Reynolds said.

    The city started this process last year. But it fell through. Dark sky advocates spotlighted the brightness and whether LED light exposure affects sleep-wake patterns. "What I've been told so far is that the exposure from street lights is very minimal," Reynolds added.

    She says this time they want specific public feedback. "We want to get input on their preference," Reynolds explained.

    Reza's preference is simply safety. "The traditional yellow ones I actually didn't notice and I felt like there was a lot of dark pockets," Reza said. "It {LED light poles} definitely made me feel safer."

    The overhaul is estimated to cost between $20 and 30 million. But city officials plan to use those savings to pay for the project so taxpayers won't be stuck with the price tag.

    To find English and Spanish surveys for both the proposed "streets" and "parks" LED light pole projects,

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