Brighter, less polluting street lights are headed to parts of downtown San Diego, the City’s Environmental Services Department announced this week.
The downtown lighting improvement project, dubbed “EnLighten San Diego,” is currently underway in a three-block span of the East Village along 10th Avenue and Island Avenue.
Crews are upgrading 30 of the city’s clear globe acorn-style street lights to more efficient lightning in preparation for a resident survey coming up in mid-November, the Environmental Services Department said.
During the upcoming evaluation, residents and other downtown stakeholders in the area will evaluate the test lights for safety, aesthetics, light color and light pollution.
The results will serve as a guide for the city to determine future light technologies and styles for a broader downtown area to be determined.
The Environmental Services Department said no historic lights will be replaced and the new test lights will look similar to the old fixtures, but with less light pollution.
The current lamps spill light into areas where it is not wanted, including business and resident windows. They also interfere with observatories’ telescopic activities by brightening the night-time sky.
The downtown project is part of a citywide relamping of more than 35,000 street lights, which is expected to be completed by March 2013.
The new lights are 60 percent more efficient broad spectrum induction lights, which give a whiter light, more like sunlight. When the downtown and citywide retrofits are completed the city will save about 15 million kilowatt-hours per year and $2 million in combined annual electricity and maintenance, according to the Environmental Services Department.