Whiter, Cleaner and Greener Lights in Carlsbad

A change could be headed for some roadways in the North County. The sodium streetlights that cast a yellow glow on Carlsbad roads may slowly fade away starting this winter, reported our media partner the North County Times.

The City Council agreed to seek grant money for an estimated $3 million street light project. Under this plan, all of the city's 7,000 street lights would be changed to high efficiency induction lights by fall 2010.

The new white lights would give off a brighter-looking white color and also consume less than half as much energy as the current sodium bulbs, said city staff member Tom Moore. That could save Carlsbad $400,000 a year in electricity costs. The new lights would also last longer. The current sodium lamps last about six years and these new induction bulbs would last 24 years. 

The only downside to this proposed plan is the worry that a damper may be put on local stargazing. The new bulbs put out a bluish-white light, which has more of an effect on night sky conditions, said Scott Kardel, public affairs coordinator with the Palomar Observatory. The lights, however, will be of a much lower wattage so the light won't be as bright as the current bulbs.

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