Author Topic: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?  (Read 73 times)

brigtigeartgib

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2018, 02:26:31 AM »
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Such systems do work and have been in place in a number of towns and small cities on other continents for some time. However, it is unlikely that you will ever see them catch on in the U.S.A.

I don't know; my own city of Cambridge, MA, had a number of streetlights with motion sensors on them prior to the recent replacement of all streetlights with LEDs. Only problem was that somebody wired in the motion sensors backward, so the lights went out when you walked under them ... not exactly what was intended, I think.

The new LED lights are turned down at 10 p.m. to about 50% of their normal output (which in turn is about 70% of their maximum). As far as I know, nobody has complained. And the sky does get palpably darker when the lights dim.
I do really like this idea of turning lights down to conserve energy (and to lower light pollution) at a time when most people should not be outside (unless you're an astronomy buff), they should be sleeping.

asexdalo

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #31 on: January 30, 2018, 11:28:06 PM »
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The Mayor said "Since the brighter lights make the Penn State students *feel* safer, we need to keep them anyway, even tho they probably don't reduce crime."

This is indeed a problem. Since guns are another of my hobbies, I participate in some online firearms forums. One has an ongoing discussion of security lighting. I commented that it's possible to have effective security lighting, using shielded fixtures with low wattage bulbs, without lighting up your property and that of your neighbors like it was high noon on a sunny day. The response was quite negative. The consensus was (1) it's a law of nature, right up there with Newton's laws, that bright lights deter criminals and (2) they refuse to sacrifice the safety of their families and themselves for my astronomy hobby.
Those of us interesting in reducing Light Pollution are not interested in reducing anyone's "safety", or returning to the 19th Century.

However, the FBI has said that there is no evidence that lighting level impacts crime level.

You should remind your friends that most home invasion crime occurs during the daytime. The criminals are not totally stupid. They know that any home is much more likely to be empty during the daytime (work, shopping, school)- and they want to steal stuff, not engage in firefights with home owners. Street crime - like drug/gang related crime, seems to have little relationship to lighting (except see below). Brighter lights just make it easier for the drug dealers to make change.

Many institutions, like schools, have found that 'hang out' crime is actually deterred by turning "security lights" off. The hanger-outers don't want to hang out in a dark parking lot. Something else that has worked: playing classical music over loud speakers!

In the case I mentioned - State College, PA and its huge Penn State campus -a rash of rapes along a few streets connecting the campus to the town"bar district" resulted in the students lobbying for increased lighting. After a few years, with no change in crime rate, the people living along said streets requested the city to remove the **increased** lighting..... with the result quoted above: the lights are still there.

Several "social science" professors claim to have data that show that city "blighted neighborhoods" with many abandoned residences and businessesDO seem to show a relationship between lighting and crime. They contend that if the abandoned homes and businesses still have lights on, the remaining locals take more pride in their neighborhood and this change in social attitude drives down crime. These studies are being used in several upstate NY cities to use substantial public funds to pay to keep lights on in abandoned homes/businesses in 'blighted' neighborhoods.

Marquez Faulkner

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Re: "Smart" street lighting: the ultimate solution?
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2018, 12:11:32 AM »
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The Mayor said "Since the brighter lights make the Penn State students *feel* safer, we need to keep them anyway, even tho they probably don't reduce crime."

This is indeed a problem. Since guns are another of my hobbies, I participate in some online firearms forums. One has an ongoing discussion of security lighting. I commented that it's possible to have effective security lighting, using shielded fixtures with low wattage bulbs, without lighting up your property and that of your neighbors like it was high noon on a sunny day. The response was quite negative. The consensus was (1) it's a law of nature, right up there with Newton's laws, that bright lights deter criminals and (2) they refuse to sacrifice the safety of their families and themselves for my astronomy hobby.
Those of us interesting in reducing Light Pollution are not interested in reducing anyone's "safety", or returning to the 19th Century.

However, the FBI has said that there is no evidence that lighting level impacts crime level.

You should remind your friends that most home invasion crime occurs during the daytime. The criminals are not totally stupid. They know that any home is much more likely to be empty during the daytime (work, shopping, school)- and they want to steal stuff, not engage in firefights with home owners. Street crime - like drug/gang related crime, seems to have little relationship to lighting (except see below). Brighter lights just make it easier for the drug dealers to make change.

Many institutions, like schools, have found that 'hang out' crime is actually deterred by turning "security lights" off. The hanger-outers don't want to hang out in a dark parking lot. Something else that has worked: playing classical music over loud speakers!

In the case I mentioned - State College, PA and its huge Penn State campus -a rash of rapes along a few streets connecting the campus to the town"bar district" resulted in the students lobbying for increased lighting. After a few years, with no change in crime rate, the people living along said streets requested the city to remove the **increased** lighting..... with the result quoted above: the lights are still there.

Several "social science" professors claim to have data that show that city "blighted neighborhoods" with many abandoned residences and businessesDO seem to show a relationship between lighting and crime. They contend that if the abandoned homes and businesses still have lights on, the remaining locals take more pride in their neighborhood and this change in social attitude drives down crime. These studies are being used in several upstate NY cities to use substantial public funds to pay to keep lights on in abandoned homes/businesses in 'blighted' neighborhoods.
What about lights being on all night impacting lack of sleep and stress and anxiety levels as well as making the body's hormones go haywire thereby showing a 15% increase in cancer risks, in multiple long term studies?