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(NL Times (Netherlands))   Shutting off highway lights overnight to cut electricity bills actually costs more than it saves because contractors need to manually light up all the extra accident scenes. Who knew?   (nltimes.nl) divider line 120
    More: Obvious, electricity, street lights, accidents  
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4957 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jan 2014 at 8:21 PM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



120 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-30 08:21:34 PM
LEAN at its best. "We can save X by doing Y!!!"

Later, you discover "Y" costs 5 times as much.
 
2014-01-30 08:24:48 PM
Someone knew. That someone likely protested, and if he was lucky he was simply ignored instead of demoted or fired or something.
 
2014-01-30 08:26:12 PM
I don't know how things work over in Europe, but in the US construction crews and emergency workers use extra utility lighting regardless of the street lights.
 
2014-01-30 08:28:08 PM

big pig peaches: I don't know how things work over in Europe, but in the US construction crews and emergency workers use extra utility lighting regardless of the street lights.


I think the headline is implying that the cost of the energy used by the investigation scene lighting outweighs the cost of the energy of the highway lights, because there are so many more accidents than before.
 
2014-01-30 08:29:17 PM

big pig peaches: I don't know how things work over in Europe, but in the US construction crews and emergency workers use extra utility lighting regardless of the street lights.


You pretty much have to. The 8-12 lux of highway lighting is enough to guide a vehicle down a road, but not enough to see anything well enough to do real work.

/hooray I'm the Fark expert in a thread for once
 
2014-01-30 08:29:42 PM

miniflea: Someone knew.


Who didn't know?

This shiat is obvious.  I hate driving dark stretches of highway.  They pull this even in NYC.

And another thing...don't turn off your daylight running lights, you clowns! Your white/silver/black car goes into stealth mode in certain lighting conditions, especially with precipitation or fog.
 
2014-01-30 08:30:23 PM
Pfffft, Netherland, that's not really even a place, is it, since Michael Jackson died?
 
2014-01-30 08:31:16 PM
www.technorise.co.in

Problem solved.
 
2014-01-30 08:33:24 PM
Well obviously you want to shut them off at night; it would be stupid to shut them off during the day when there is far more traffic.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-01-30 08:33:45 PM
If the cost for labor and temporary lights comes out of somebody else's budget, it's still a win for the lighting division of the highway agency.
 
2014-01-30 08:34:35 PM
How much does it cost to post billboards that read "Turn on Your Goddamn Headlights at Night"
 
2014-01-30 08:36:13 PM
They pulled this in here in Maryland. Scared the shiat out of me driving home from work in a snowstorm with no street lights.
 
2014-01-30 08:36:21 PM
Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.
 
2014-01-30 08:36:40 PM
Well at least they have windmills to keep them cool.
 
2014-01-30 08:40:02 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.


Well with no natural predators to thin the herd we like 90% morans now.
 
2014-01-30 08:40:40 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.


Morons, and people who don't want their cars run into by morons.  So, everyone.
 
2014-01-30 08:41:15 PM

Enigmamf: because there are so many more accidents than before.


TFA says no such thing about accident numbers - only that people (old folks in particular) are biatching about the lack of lighting.

As somebody who drives to work in the pre-dawn hours, I can't farking stand most street lighting. There's way too much of it and most of it is terribly designed. I thought the idea was to improve visibility, not blind me. Shine the farking light down on the road, not into my eyes.

I can see a hell of a lot better with just the headlights, without all that extraneous sideways lighting making me hinky.

And when it's foggy out? That's what the white line on the side of the road is for. It's called a FOG LINE, chrissakes. If you can't see anything else you can follow the fog line, long as you don't drive like a jackass.

Don't get me started on the traffic lights that turn red at empty intersections with nobody around in a two-mile radius.
 
2014-01-30 08:41:49 PM

fusillade762: [www.technorise.co.in image 360x360]

Problem solved.


well...  On average I guess.
 
2014-01-30 08:42:01 PM
Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.
 
2014-01-30 08:44:16 PM
We waste an enormous amount of money on streetlights. I really dislike light pollution in general...

Glad to see at least one country moving in the right direction on that.
 
2014-01-30 08:46:11 PM

12349876: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.

Morons, and people who don't want their cars run into by morons.  So, everyone.


I bet you turn your hazards on when it rains
 
2014-01-30 08:46:38 PM

desertfool: LEAN at its best. "We can save X by doing Y!!!"

Later, you discover "Y" costs 5 times as much.


fightclub.jpg
 
2014-01-30 08:47:40 PM
Not to mention the extra accidents.
 
2014-01-30 08:48:44 PM

JohnnyC: We waste an enormous amount of money on streetlights. I really dislike light pollution in general...
Glad to see at least one country moving in the right direction on that.


Maybe you can move to Best Korea!
 
2014-01-30 08:50:15 PM

Enigmamf: big pig peaches: I don't know how things work over in Europe, but in the US construction crews and emergency workers use extra utility lighting regardless of the street lights.

I think the headline is implying that the cost of the energy used by the investigation scene lighting outweighs the cost of the energy of the highway lights, because there are so many more accidents than before.


The article says it is the cost of contractors who have to come out to turn the lights on. Just give rescue workers the ability to turn the lights on. Problem solved.
 
2014-01-30 08:50:38 PM
so they have more accidents than lights ?
 
2014-01-30 08:52:44 PM

SlothB77: Not to mention the extra accidents.


If those guys weren't lazy 0bamaphone welfare moochers they could afford more lights on their cars.
 
2014-01-30 08:52:55 PM

12349876: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.

Morons, and people who don't want their cars run into by morons.  So, everyone.


I find streetlights handy in spotting morons walking in the street at night, so as to not run them over and have to wash their blood off my truck.

Also, installing more lighting around all places at night in a crime busy city is helpful in somewhat deterring crime.  It doesn't really stop it, but at least you can watch the crooks killing someone.
 
2014-01-30 08:53:54 PM
"According to Rijkswaterstaat, the contractors assigned to manually switch on highway lights are asking for hefty fees."


For those who didn't read TFA, it says the cost is from contractors who have to MANUALLY turn on the lights if there's an accident. The really gloss over this.... While I think the lights are necessary for safety, the article and the headline are completely misleading, making it sound like just the fact that there are accident crews is where the increased cost comes from.
 
2014-01-30 08:56:23 PM

miniflea: Someone knew. That someone likely protested, and if he was lucky he was simply ignored instead of demoted or fired or something.


Alternately, that someone will be offered up as a scapegoat and thrown to the wolves by the people in charge above him as soon as their stupidity becomes public record.
 
2014-01-30 08:56:31 PM

desertfool: LEAN at its best. "We can save X by doing Y!!!"

Later, you discover "Y" costs 5 times as much.


Y? Y2K!

How much did that cost?

lol

/leker
 
2014-01-30 08:57:10 PM
A lot of the new LED based street lighting can use a part night setup where the lights stay on but dim to about half power after peak hours when there is little traffic. It can save considerable energy without sacrificing safety. With few cars on the road you don't have to compete with the light from all the tail lights.
 
2014-01-30 08:59:15 PM

lack of warmth: Also, installing more lighting around all places at night in a crime busy city is helpful in somewhat deterring crime. It doesn't really stop it, but at least you can watch the crooks killing someone.


Not really.

Much so-called security lighting is designed with little thought for how eyes-or criminals-operate. Marcus Felson, a professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, has concluded that lighting is effective in preventing crime mainly if it enables people to notice criminal activity as it's taking place, and if it doesn't help criminals to see what they're doing. Bright, unshielded floodlights-one of the most common types of outdoor security lighting in the country-often fail on both counts, as do all-night lights installed on isolated structures or on parts of buildings that can't be observed by passersby (such as back doors). A burglar who is forced to use a flashlight, or whose movement triggers a security light controlled by an infrared motion sensor, is much more likely to be spotted than one whose presence is masked by the blinding glare of a poorly placed metal halide "wall pack." In the early seventies, the public-school system in San Antonio, Texas, began leaving many of its school buildings, parking lots, and other property dark at night and found that the no-lights policy not only reduced energy costs but also dramatically cut vandalism.
 
2014-01-30 09:00:18 PM

legion_of_doo: JohnnyC: We waste an enormous amount of money on streetlights. I really dislike light pollution in general...
Glad to see at least one country moving in the right direction on that.

Maybe you can move to Best Korea!


Oh! I get it... if I don't like light pollution than I should move a dictatorship. Such a sharp and clever wit as yours is wasted on the likes of us. You should take that shiat on the road.
 
2014-01-30 09:02:21 PM
I love the consequences of unintended consequences.
 
2014-01-30 09:03:13 PM

Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.


In most municipalities they are group relamped at set intervals once every few years. The reason being all of the lights are on similar hours so all the lamps are nearing end of life at about the same time. You don't see the crews because it's normally done in the middle of the day when most of us are at work, and you'd have to be out driving around on that one day in 2-4 years that crews are out there.

In downtown and residential areas they will usually spot relamp if someone calls in a failure.
 
2014-01-30 09:03:33 PM

JohnnyC: legion_of_doo: JohnnyC: We waste an enormous amount of money on streetlights. I really dislike light pollution in general...
Glad to see at least one country moving in the right direction on that.

Maybe you can move to Best Korea!

Oh! I get it... if I don't like light pollution than I should move a dictatorship. Such a sharp and clever wit as yours is wasted on the likes of us. You should take that shiat on the road.


I'm just saying they don't have a lot of streetlights there.

Okay, how about rural Montana? is that any better?
 
2014-01-30 09:08:15 PM

fusillade762: Problem solved.


I've seen those installed in built up areas when the buried wiring for the streetlights would need to be dug up. Screw any notions of taking years to pay back on the electric bills, they didn't have to tear up everything. That was a win.
 
2014-01-30 09:09:15 PM

JohnnyC: We waste an enormous amount of money on streetlights. I really dislike light pollution in general...

Glad to see at least one country moving in the right direction on that.


Yeah...can't see the stars at noon because of the stoopid sun!
 
2014-01-30 09:11:52 PM

James10952001: Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.

In most municipalities they are group relamped at set intervals once every few years. The reason being all of the lights are on similar hours so all the lamps are nearing end of life at about the same time. You don't see the crews because it's normally done in the middle of the day when most of us are at work, and you'd have to be out driving around on that one day in 2-4 years that crews are out there.

In downtown and residential areas they will usually spot relamp if someone calls in a failure.


Group relamping is pretty much what I expected. The big chemical plants in the Kanawha valley of WV do the same thing.

Thanks
 
2014-01-30 09:13:02 PM

Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.


Because modern bulbs last longer?

Also, the newer ones are easier to change, so it's relatively quick. The tall tower style on the freeway with 5 lights in a cluster... They have those on a pulley system, they drive up, open the hatch, lower the lights and change them, no need for a truck and a cherry picker and traffic barricades.
 
2014-01-30 09:17:42 PM

Hoboclown: How much does it cost to post billboards that read "Turn on Your Goddamn Headlights at Night"



Yeah really.     We don't have streetlights here in the country.    I guess if you don't have them you just get used to it.

Start car.   It's an older one, so turn on lights.   Drive to Uncle Pete's house.

...not hard
 
2014-01-30 09:18:16 PM

Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.


The aliens have their cloaking device engaged while they change out the bulbs.  They're like illegal immigrants doing work nobody else wants to do, except they have flying saucers.
 
2014-01-30 09:18:59 PM
I guess the simple answer, don't drive in the dark if you can't handle it, didn't occur to all the idiots? oh, right, of course not.

Just think of all the people that live far away from lighted roads, and somehow, magically, make it to their destinations without running into a damn thing. Well, except for deer and other suicidal wildlife.
 
2014-01-30 09:21:02 PM
I must say - leaving France and entering Belgium at night is a joy because of the well-lit highways.
 
2014-01-30 09:21:15 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.


Because you rarely see morons on the road driving, you may have a point.
 
2014-01-30 09:21:57 PM

de_Selby: I must say - leaving France and entering Belgium at night is a joy because of the well-lit highways.


Also, you're leaving France.
 
2014-01-30 09:22:08 PM
Gulper Eel:  That's what the white line on the side of the road is for. It's called a FOG LINE, chrissakes.

I learned something new today! Yaaaay.

Don't get me started on the traffic lights that turn red at empty intersections with nobody around in a two-mile radius.

I once watched a cop sit at a red light (T-intersection, probably 3 AM) for almost five minutes because I guess he was trying to be a good example to us, as we were right behind him. Finally he got fed up and made his turn. Apparently that one didn't have a sensor at the time on the side road. I'm so glad I found out about the triggers for those things, through Fark IIRC, because where I live now, you basically have to trip the damn things on purpose to have any hope of getting through some of the traffic lights.
 
2014-01-30 09:22:15 PM
Solution:

1) Install inexpensive downward deflectors on all the streetlights.

2) Replace bulbs with lower-wattage models, since less of the light will be wasted in scatter.

3) Done.

http://www.darksky.org
 
2014-01-30 09:22:35 PM

netcentric: Hoboclown: How much does it cost to post billboards that read "Turn on Your Goddamn Headlights at Night"


Yeah really.     We don't have streetlights here in the country.    I guess if you don't have them you just get used to it.

Start car.   It's an older one, so turn on lights.   Drive to Uncle Pete's house.

...not hard


They also do not have streetlights in the country - only on what I assume you would call an interstate.
 
2014-01-30 09:27:18 PM
There needs to be a compromise between safety and light pollution.  The costs are minor.
 
2014-01-30 09:33:56 PM
Retrofit with Cree LED cobraheads at 100 bucks a copy which use 1/10 of the energy and for farks sake get some net enabled circuit breakers,
Square D makes whole distribution panels and sub panels.
Off the shelf and affordable

You can turn it on or off from anywhere on the planet with a smart phone.
 
2014-01-30 09:36:02 PM
medius:

miniflea: Someone knew.

Who didn't know?

This shiat is obvious. I hate driving dark stretches of highway. They pull this even in NYC.

And another thing...don't turn off your daylight running lights, you clowns! Your white/silver/black car goes into stealth mode in certain lighting conditions, especially with precipitation or fog


I'll say this as a fan of old cars (and why did "cornering lights" ever go away?) but one of the things modern car designers got right was the "you *will* have running lights when you're... you know... running." Had I a nickle for every time I've internally yelled at some numbnuts in a downpour or snowstorm who didn't bother to turn on some lights... ANY lights... Well, I'd have many nickles.

You want some real fun? Some third world cities have a convention where you don't use your headlights at all in town unless it's to flick them at pedestrians or to signal other drivers. Why the heck you would do that I don't know. The one good thing I can say in their defense is that every city where I've seen that tends to paint the curbs with alternating black-and-white checks, which makes it far easier to see the edge of the road than say, a constant yellow or white stripe.
 
2014-01-30 09:40:26 PM

BummerDuck: I guess the simple answer, don't drive in the dark if you can't handle it, didn't occur to all the idiots? oh, right, of course not.


Of course it did.  Do you think lighted roads came before vehicles?  They were added to assist people who couldn't drive in the dark - the same as most inventions.  A technology was created to give opportunity to those who previously did not have it.

If the final answer to "OH YOU CAN'T DO THAT" was "THEN DON'T", the world would pretty much suck.  Well, suck more.
 
2014-01-30 09:41:30 PM
ladyfortuna:

Gulper Eel: That's what the white line on the side of the road is for. It's called a FOG LINE, chrissakes.

I learned something new today! Yaaaay.

Don't get me started on the traffic lights that turn red at empty intersections with nobody around in a two-mile radius.

I once watched a cop sit at a red light (T-intersection, probably 3 AM) for almost five minutes because I guess he was trying to be a good example to us, as we were right behind him. Finally he got fed up and made his turn. Apparently that one didn't have a sensor at the time on the side road. I'm so glad I found out about the triggers for those things, through Fark IIRC, because where I live now, you basically have to trip the damn things on purpose to have any hope of getting through some of the traffic lights.


There's an odd little two-step waltz that all 4:00am drivers know... You pull up to the sensor... you pull back... you pull up to the sensor, you wait.
 
2014-01-30 09:42:38 PM

TheOther: JohnnyC: We waste an enormous amount of money on streetlights. I really dislike light pollution in general...

Glad to see at least one country moving in the right direction on that.

Yeah...can't see the stars at noon because of the stoopid sun!


The Sun is a star stoopid!
 
2014-01-30 09:44:32 PM

BummerDuck: I guess the simple answer, don't drive in the dark if you can't handle it, didn't occur to all the idiots? oh, right, of course not.

Just think of all the people that live far away from lighted roads, and somehow, magically, make it to their destinations without running into a damn thing. Well, except for deer and other suicidal wildlife.


Funny thing about that, when I moved to the sticks, my insurance went UP about 20% which was unexpected. When I asked someone from State Farm about it, she replied that it's because the accidents tend to be fatal out here.
 
2014-01-30 09:48:51 PM

Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.


I've never seen a lightbulb changed either, but urban living caused me to see money collected from payphones, and parking meters.
And once, just once, I drove behind a truck with an enormous, fat, spinning paint-roller type thing cleaning the carbon off the curved ceiling of the tunnel I was in. Was at 3am on a Monday, but because of a blues jam I had driven thru that tunnel at 3am for 7yrs before I saw that.

/csb/s
 
2014-01-30 09:49:08 PM

netcentric: Yeah really.     We don't have streetlights here in the country.    I guess if you don't have them you just get used to it.


When the only thing for 50 miles is your 1975 Ford Truck and a bunch of cows who appear nervous whenever you come near - street lights don't make a lot of sense.  But most country roads do have lights at interceptions.  And street lights in higher volume areas do lower the risk of accidents between 10 and 15% depending on the study.

/but its fark so everyone has a GED in traffic management
 
2014-01-30 09:53:21 PM

desertfool: LEAN at its best. "We can save X by doing Y!!!"

Later, you discover "Y" costs 5 times as much.


But, if a private company can gouge the public for Y, then it is a great idea.
 
2014-01-30 09:55:05 PM
Who knew that accidents will happen?

static.guim.co.uk

I don't want to hear it
'Cause I know what I've done
 
2014-01-30 10:03:49 PM

ladyfortuna: I once watched a cop sit at a red light (T-intersection, probably 3 AM) for almost five minutes because I guess he was trying to be a good example to us, as we were right behind him. Finally he got fed up and made his turn. Apparently that one didn't have a sensor at the time on the side road. I'm so glad I found out about the triggers for those things, through Fark IIRC, because where I live now, you basically have to trip the damn things on purpose to have any hope of getting through some of the traffic lights.


Trigger? As in the wire loop under the pavement?
 
2014-01-30 10:07:05 PM

desertfool: LEAN at its best. "We can save X by doing Y!!!"

Later, you discover "Y" costs 5 times as much.


"Work smarter, not harder."

Which turns into

"Burn your employees out by making them do the work of 2 or 3 people and then use the savings to hire completely new people when they get fed up and quit, and you even get to start them out at base salary. It's win-freakin'-win, baby."
 
2014-01-30 10:08:11 PM
I'm confused, aren't streetlights for the nighttime? I couldn't see them being of much use during the daytime.
 
2014-01-30 10:16:45 PM

fusillade762: [www.technorise.co.in image 360x360]

Problem solved.


Most of the people that think shutting off highway lights cuz big gubmint spending bad are the same people that rail against alternative energy development.
 
2014-01-30 10:20:03 PM

Rivetman1.0: Retrofit with Cree LED cobraheads at 100 bucks a copy which use 1/10 of the energy and for farks sake get some net enabled circuit breakers,
Square D makes whole distribution panels and sub panels.
Off the shelf and affordable

You can turn it on or off from anywhere on the planet with a smart phone.


Yeah, but good luck finding a suitable model for your application on their website.  I swear Schneider Electric wants to drive customers away by making the worst possible website.  Wanna find a data sheet for this breaker that you're holding in your hand?  Well punch that model number in and find..... no matching part found.
 
2014-01-30 10:27:20 PM

dkulprit: I'm confused, aren't streetlights for the nighttime? I couldn't see them being of much use during the daytime.


The headline does sort of infer that, but it just means the lights never turn on.  There's plenty of abandoned infrastructure over the course of human history.  The most noticeable nationwide over recent years being indoor malls and non-Super Wally Worlds.
 
2014-01-30 10:29:17 PM

Oldiron_79: Well at least they have windmills to keep them cool.


i.imgur.com
 
2014-01-30 10:29:33 PM
I've got an idea - why don't they put lights on the front of every car to illuminate the way? That way there would be no need for street lights, *and* as a bonus the car owners pay for the electricity and the bulbs, instead of the government!!
 
2014-01-30 10:50:02 PM
So, if I'm reading TFA right, the problem isn't that there are more accidents, but that the unions made them hire special contractors who charge hefty fees to turn some farking lights on at the accident scenes that happen anyway.

So, the cleanup crew that gets sent out to the accident scene needs light to do their work.  So they have to call the light turner oners, who come out and turn the lights on.  But having the lights always be on would be cheaper than paying the light turner oner.

And apparently nobody has considered allowing the cleanup crews to turn the lights on themselves?  I guess because the security to prevent members of the general public from flicking a light switch on and off rapidly (oh, ask your dad about how much more expensive that is) is too complicated and you have to be properly trained in the toggle mechanism they use?

It's kind of amazing how overcomplicated the act of turning lights on has become.
 
2014-01-30 10:55:36 PM

12349876: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.

Morons, and people who don't want their cars run into by morons.  So, everyone.


Depending on where you are, you might have to worry about wild animals or livestock wandering out onto the road you're driving 85mph on.  That's not a fun situation, and lighting helps avoid it.
 
2014-01-30 10:58:46 PM

Gyrfalcon: I love the consequences of unintended consequences.


Fight Club insurance scene.
 
2014-01-30 11:02:20 PM
Ever get the feeing that most of this country is just in the kitchen boiling some Ramen with an LED light and hoping the landlord knocking can't tell they're home while they rifle the cushions for bus fare?
 
2014-01-30 11:10:57 PM

Mikey1969: Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.

Because modern bulbs last longer?

Also, the newer ones are easier to change, so it's relatively quick. The tall tower style on the freeway with 5 lights in a cluster... They have those on a pulley system, they drive up, open the hatch, lower the lights and change them, no need for a truck and a cherry picker and traffic barricades.


Actually the modern bulbs have been cost reduced to the point where they tend to fail rather predictably around the end of rated life. Both Westinghouse and GE had a problem in the late 1960s with their Bonus Line and Lifeguard series extended life mercury vapor lamps. It turned out that the lamps were far outlasting their design life, with many of them lasting decades. A lamp that never fails is not good for a business selling lamps. They reformulated the electrodes to reduce the lifespan but even so a good US-made mercury lamp would last for years. Most of the modern HPS lamps are made in china.

Current crops of LED streetlights are very well made to justify the high cost. I suspect eventually manufactures will fine tune the process so they last long enough but not too long. Since there is no "bulb" to speak of, you would normally replace the entire luminaire when it fails.
 
2014-01-30 11:11:17 PM

netcentric: Hoboclown: How much does it cost to post billboards that read "Turn on Your Goddamn Headlights at Night"


Yeah really.     We don't have streetlights here in the country.    I guess if you don't have them you just get used to it.

Start car.   It's an older one, so turn on lights.   Drive to Uncle Pete's house.

...not hard


The country is just a little different than the city, isn't it?

Less traffic.
Less pedestrians.
Less debris on the road.

So of course a one size fits all approach is the best.

/even in rural areas, if you're on the interstate, there are light s at the on ramps and off ramps.
//Uncle Pete might have even noticed this himself
 
2014-01-30 11:14:49 PM
If you aren't going to turn those lights on, then there isn't any point in installing them in the first place.  That should save a few million.

And who cares about the idiots who have wrecks?  Do people who have wrecks vote?  Do they have a lobby?  Do they hand bags of money to politicians?  Is there any reason for politicians to give a fark about those people?
 
2014-01-30 11:15:32 PM

ladyfortuna: Gulper Eel:  That's what the white line on the side of the road is for. It's called a FOG LINE, chrissakes.

I learned something new today! Yaaaay.

Don't get me started on the traffic lights that turn red at empty intersections with nobody around in a two-mile radius.

I once watched a cop sit at a red light (T-intersection, probably 3 AM) for almost five minutes because I guess he was trying to be a good example to us, as we were right behind him. Finally he got fed up and made his turn. Apparently that one didn't have a sensor at the time on the side road. I'm so glad I found out about the triggers for those things, through Fark IIRC, because where I live now, you basically have to trip the damn things on purpose to have any hope of getting through some of the traffic lights.


The sensors are inductive loops, sometimes they fail to calibrate properly and won't detect a car that's sitting over the loop. Other times they're just laid out such that your car has to be in just the right spot.
 
2014-01-30 11:17:07 PM

ladyfortuna: Gulper Eel:  That's what the white line on the side of the road is for. It's called a FOG LINE, chrissakes.

I learned something new today! Yaaaay.

Don't get me started on the traffic lights that turn red at empty intersections with nobody around in a two-mile radius.

I once watched a cop sit at a red light (T-intersection, probably 3 AM) for almost five minutes because I guess he was trying to be a good example to us, as we were right behind him. Finally he got fed up and made his turn. Apparently that one didn't have a sensor at the time on the side road. I'm so glad I found out about the triggers for those things, through Fark IIRC, because where I live now, you basically have to trip the damn things on purpose to have any hope of getting through some of the traffic lights.


Only some lights have sensors, so roaming all over the lane sometimes does you no good.

CSB: My Government teacher u high school ran a red light at 2 am when the road was deserted because he successfully argued in court that it is ludicrous to expect people to camp at intersections with no traffic in the middle of the night. The cop confirmed that he sat there for at least 2 full minutes before proceeding. It's nice when the system works and common sense can prevail. It's the whole reason the guy used it as an example in class.
 
2014-01-30 11:21:22 PM

JuggleGeek: Is there any reason for politicians to give a fark about those people?


Oh, they don't.  At all.

graphics8.nytimes.com
 
2014-01-30 11:21:29 PM

rev. dave: There needs to be a compromise between safety and light pollution.  The costs are minor.


With a working Observatory in town, Flagstaff, AZ has the 3rd strongest light pollution regulations in the world, and it still works well. It was interesting to look at commercial blueprints and see all of the light restrictions and requirements. Part of the solution is the orange tinted lights that make everything look black and white.
 
2014-01-30 11:23:08 PM

balisane: Solution:

1) Install inexpensive downward deflectors on all the streetlights.

2) Replace bulbs with lower-wattage models, since less of the light will be wasted in scatter.

3) Done.

http://www.darksky.org


Most new roadway lighting is with full cutoff fixtures, that is no light above 90 degrees. The disadvantage of this is that you need a lot more lights spaced closely together to get even lighting, otherwise you end up with bright pools of light with large stretches of darkness.

I agree that many streetlights are far brighter than necessary which leads to a lot of glare in addition to light pollution and energy waste. Unfortunately it's not as simple as just installing lower wattage luminaires. There are layers of burocracy covering required light levels in different types of roads. If someone involved in an accident discovers that the lighting in the area doesn't comply with the law, they can sue. This is 'Murica we're talking about here.
 
2014-01-30 11:25:35 PM

Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.


You never see them?

You're probably not paying attention.  I used to see them all the time.  Now, I drive a lot less than I used to, but I still see the occasional bulb crew.
 
2014-01-30 11:26:11 PM
1. Turn off lights at night
2. Listen for accidents
3. Harvest organs
4. Profit
 
2014-01-30 11:26:13 PM

James10952001: Mikey1969: Fano: Question for Cecil Adams: Why do we never see people changing out the lightbulbs? I'm sure it doesn't take long, but there are lots of lights, so you should expect to see a crew out somewhere at some time. Just like you never saw people collecting money from payphones.

Because modern bulbs last longer?

Also, the newer ones are easier to change, so it's relatively quick. The tall tower style on the freeway with 5 lights in a cluster... They have those on a pulley system, they drive up, open the hatch, lower the lights and change them, no need for a truck and a cherry picker and traffic barricades.

Actually the modern bulbs have been cost reduced to the point where they tend to fail rather predictably around the end of rated life. Both Westinghouse and GE had a problem in the late 1960s with their Bonus Line and Lifeguard series extended life mercury vapor lamps. It turned out that the lamps were far outlasting their design life, with many of them lasting decades. A lamp that never fails is not good for a business selling lamps. They reformulated the electrodes to reduce the lifespan but even so a good US-made mercury lamp would last for years. Most of the modern HPS lamps are made in china.

Current crops of LED streetlights are very well made to justify the high cost. I suspect eventually manufactures will fine tune the process so they last long enough but not too long. Since there is no "bulb" to speak of, you would normally replace the entire luminaire when it fails.


Yeah, I figured that's why an LED for your home can cost $60,and I can't really blame them. You can't have a successful business if your product is cheap and lasts forever. Only problem with LEDs in general is that they're too farking bright. I already have light sensitive eyes, and it's gotten worse in the last few months.

It's not the streetlights that kill me though, it's headlights in my mirror and those goddam Super bright LED screens everyone puts out in front of their business, especially when the screen suddenly flashes all white.
 
2014-01-30 11:42:12 PM

lack of warmth: Also, installing more lighting around all places at night in a crime busy city is helpful in somewhat deterring crime. It doesn't really stop it, but at least you can watch the crooks killing someone.


I've read that lighting can also increase crime in places like parking lots and schools because the crooks can see.


James10952001: I agree that many streetlights are far brighter than necessary which leads to a lot of glare in addition to light pollution and energy waste.


Agreed.  It would be nice if streetlights would slowly start to dim after sunset.  I imagine that with LED units, you could set it to start turning off a percentage of the bulbs at defined intervals.  By 10PM, you could be down to 33% strength.


I live near a "night skies" town with an observatory not far away.  They have very little street lighting.  But they compensate somewhat by having a lot more reflectors on the road.  They also drop the speed limit by 5 or 10 MPH at night.

While the reflectors are an improvement, I kinda wish that they'd use in-road lighting for curves, kinda what you see on an airport runway but smaller in scale.  Something dim enough not to ruin your night vision but bright enough that you can see it in poor weather at night.
 
2014-01-30 11:51:13 PM

Mikey1969: rev. dave: There needs to be a compromise between safety and light pollution.  The costs are minor.

With a working Observatory in town, Flagstaff, AZ has the 3rd strongest light pollution regulations in the world, and it still works well. It was interesting to look at commercial blueprints and see all of the light restrictions and requirements. Part of the solution is the orange tinted lights that make everything look black and white.


Flagstaff is weirdly dark.

And with that light color, they might as well just turn it off.  I think they're using LPS, and it's the worst light available.  One of the reasons I miss mercury vapor and really look forward to LED, because the HPS lights most commonly used today have horrific color rendition.
 
2014-01-31 12:00:49 AM

Enigmamf: big pig peaches: I don't know how things work over in Europe, but in the US construction crews and emergency workers use extra utility lighting regardless of the street lights.

I think the headline is implying that the cost of the energy used by the investigation scene lighting outweighs the cost of the energy of the highway lights, because there are so many more accidents than before.


except emergency vehicles have their own scene lights, so it's bullshiat

chicagoareafire.com
 
2014-01-31 12:08:05 AM
see really the issue here is that the government is putting its teat in the mouth of these "contractors" in the first place

if the free market has interests in clearing these wrecks, it will find a way to do so. if it doesn't, then it doesn't need to be done in the first place. of course you dims love to frame it as throwing good money after bad when it is really worse money after bad
 
2014-01-31 12:21:21 AM
Here in San Diego, they did that and four men died that night on the highway.

Okay, well, it was more like a light on the highway near an exit went out, a guy (on his birthday) broke down at 3:00AM, was walking on the shoulder to the next exit, got hit and killed by a rich chick (no penalty to her).

Luckily, she drove home and had her lawyer father wait until she sobered up until they called the cops.  Much better when they can't get a blood test done.

But my point, highways without lights are deadly.
 
2014-01-31 12:23:03 AM

Tourney3p0: BummerDuck: I guess the simple answer, don't drive in the dark if you can't handle it, didn't occur to all the idiots? oh, right, of course not.

Of course it did.  Do you think lighted roads came before vehicles?  They were added to assist people who couldn't drive in the dark - the same as most inventions.  A technology was created to give opportunity to those who previously did not have it.

If the final answer to "OH YOU CAN'T DO THAT" was "THEN DON'T", the world would pretty much suck.  Well, suck more.


Little extreme in your response. If you can't drive for crap with just headlights, that is not the same as inventing new things or pushing yourself to something new. Unless that something new is a car wreck.

I'll put forth that if you can't drive with only headlights, then you should not drive at night. I am sure any sane person would agree. Lights burn out, power goes down. I would rather not have someone driving around that can't cope with that sudden change.
 
2014-01-31 12:25:01 AM

BummerDuck: I'll put forth that if you can't drive with only headlights, then you should not drive at night. I am sure any sane person would agree. Lights burn out, power goes down. I would rather not have someone driving around that can't cope with that sudden change.


I'll put forth that everybody is different and reactions to events are not the same.

The benefit of the highway lights are that people who are not very responsive to unexpected stimuli have more change to react by the highway light illuminating their way.

I know you'd rather not have them driving but this is reality.  We cater to the lowest common denominator.  Yes, this didn't happen in US, but it's a human condition; not just limited to the United States.
 
2014-01-31 12:46:25 AM

DarkVader: Mikey1969: rev. dave: There needs to be a compromise between safety and light pollution.  The costs are minor.

With a working Observatory in town, Flagstaff, AZ has the 3rd strongest light pollution regulations in the world, and it still works well. It was interesting to look at commercial blueprints and see all of the light restrictions and requirements. Part of the solution is the orange tinted lights that make everything look black and white.

Flagstaff is weirdly dark.

And with that light color, they might as well just turn it off.  I think they're using LPS, and it's the worst light available.  One of the reasons I miss mercury vapor and really look forward to LED, because the HPS lights most commonly used today have horrific color rendition.


Well, that's why it's dark. Lowell Observatory is still getting used, although not as much.

The streetlights work, though. You get used to the color thing, and it's bright enough to see as you go through the parking lot of the grocery store, as well as noticing the drunk Navajo approaching your open Jeep with a knife in his hand(weird story that happened one night). They work well, and are probably still a better solution than LEDs, since in my experience you have to do a lot of extra stuff to make the things focus light decently at all, and the floodlights are just too washed out, so some kind of focus is really needed...

LEDs or lot, Flag has a good approach and they found a good middle ground.
 
2014-01-31 01:18:44 AM
Weed is totally legal there man. Like why would there be accidents? Weed makes you a safer like driver.
 
2014-01-31 01:30:04 AM

netcentric: Hoboclown: How much does it cost to post billboards that read "Turn on Your Goddamn Headlights at Night"


Yeah really.     We don't have streetlights here in the country.    I guess if you don't have them you just get used to it.

Start car.   It's an older one, so turn on lights.   Drive to Uncle Pete's house.

...not hard


Is that the only place you drive to?
 
2014-01-31 01:31:44 AM

mikaloyd: Weed is totally legal there man. Like why would there be accidents? Weed makes you a safer like driver.


www.dobryj-pasechnik.ru

"Look over there, honey; an idiot!"

 
2014-01-31 01:36:16 AM
Streetlights? Lots of streetlights here in New Mexico...or are they?


I've made all night runs through the desert when the Moon was so bright I turned off my headlights for a few miles. No streetlights out there :)

/I was younger
//with better eyesight
///slashies
 
2014-01-31 03:39:36 AM
The article doesnt say anything at all about any of that shiat. It says that contractors are ripping off the system by charging huge amounts for lighting work-sites, and that the system is buying a unit that allows them to manually turn on the lights for specific work-sites from the central control, thereby saving millions.

Seems pretty sensible to me.
 
2014-01-31 04:57:42 AM

dkulprit: I'm confused, aren't streetlights for the nighttime? I couldn't see them being of much use during the daytime.


When your day only has eight hours of natural sunlight...
 
2014-01-31 05:13:53 AM

sunderland56: I've got an idea - why don't they put lights on the front of every car to illuminate the way? That way there would be no need for street lights, *and* as a bonus the car owners pay for the electricity and the bulbs, instead of the government!!


And the workers repairing/improving the roads at night can work by the light of passing motorists to save even more money!
 
2014-01-31 05:17:14 AM

Oldiron_79: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.

Well with no natural predators to thin the herd we like 90% morans now.


The moron is it's own natural predator. That's what the Darwin Award is all about.
 
2014-01-31 06:33:11 AM
We don't have lights on most of the autobahn, so why would you need them on highways for the piddly speed you are allowed to drive?
 
2014-01-31 07:03:52 AM

maxheck: I'll say this as a fan of old cars (and why did "cornering lights" ever go away?) but one of the things modern car designers got right was the "you *will* have running lights when you're... you know... running."


I didn't bother to Google it or read further to see if anyone else responded but, if by "cornering lights" you mean bright white lights that come on and illuminate the front quarter-angle section of roadside in the direction of your turn signal..my 2003 Buick Park Avenue has that, and that's recent enuff that I'd have to think that feature is still around on current upper-middle and high-end cars..
 
2014-01-31 07:43:12 AM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Only morons need streetlights at night, and then only in residential areas.


So you've never had a deer pop up out of the darkness as you were going 60 down a dark interstate? I have, and it might have killed me. Luckily for me, I barely caught its hindquarter.

Not so lucky for the deer.

Anyway, how is this politics?
 
2014-01-31 07:55:25 AM

Kibbler: So you've never had a deer pop up out of the darkness as you were going 60 down a dark interstate? I have, and it might have killed me. Luckily for me, I barely caught its hindquarter.


That's not an argument for more lighting - it's an argument for more hunters.
 
2014-01-31 08:34:31 AM
Thanks, Obama!
 
2014-01-31 08:47:07 AM
Doesn't your vehicle have lights on  it?  Most of the roads I drive on don't have street lamps so I don't understand the issue.
 
2014-01-31 08:48:53 AM

ZAZ: If the cost for labor and temporary lights comes out of somebody else's budget, it's still a win for the lighting division of the highway agency.


Unfortunately, ^THIS^.

Of course, departments are punished for surpluses.
 
2014-01-31 09:04:25 AM
Streetlights? I want to believe.
 
2014-01-31 09:29:33 AM

TNel: Doesn't your vehicle have lights on  it?  Most of the roads I drive on don't have street lamps so I don't understand the issue.


Just valiantly make a stand against decades of collected statistics saying that lighting well used roads saves a large amount of accidents and money compared to the costs. I mean who cares about observable and well research reality when you have an pointless anecdote?
 
2014-01-31 10:24:08 AM

xria: TNel: Doesn't your vehicle have lights on  it?  Most of the roads I drive on don't have street lamps so I don't understand the issue.

Just valiantly make a stand against decades of collected statistics saying that lighting well used roads saves a large amount of accidents and money compared to the costs. I mean who cares about observable and well research reality when you have an pointless anecdote?


Did I say you shouldn't have street lamps?  Lamps make it loads easier but it's also not that hard to drive without lamps.
 
2014-01-31 10:42:20 AM

Enigmamf: big pig peaches: I don't know how things work over in Europe, but in the US construction crews and emergency workers use extra utility lighting regardless of the street lights.

I think the headline is implying that the cost of the energy used by the investigation scene lighting outweighs the cost of the energy of the highway lights, because there are so many more accidents than before.


Meanwhile, in the article it says the cost is because of outside contractors charging huge fees to flip a switch
 
2014-01-31 10:46:27 AM
If you want to be more secure,
1) put the light on the ground where you want it and so you will have more light for your money
2) reduce the glare for anyone looking at your property by not shining your light in their eyes.

Nothing burns me more than seeing a giant light shining right at me from a mile away; first, I can't see if anyone was there under your light or not, and second, you are wasting most of the light that could actually go to light up your ground around your building. Duh. It is costing you, so that makes me feel a little better because you deserve it, but you are dumb, use a cutoff fixture, they don't actually cost more these days.
 
2014-01-31 12:13:15 PM
I thought the point of turning off the lights was to decrease light pollution (not sure if that's the right word but the thing that makes it hard to see stars from the city and can affect animals as well).  I like where I live because there aren't any street lights and when I go to sleep it's actually dark.  I sleep much more soundly.
 
2014-01-31 01:24:59 PM

DarkVader: Mikey1969: rev. dave: There needs to be a compromise between safety and light pollution.  The costs are minor.

With a working Observatory in town, Flagstaff, AZ has the 3rd strongest light pollution regulations in the world, and it still works well. It was interesting to look at commercial blueprints and see all of the light restrictions and requirements. Part of the solution is the orange tinted lights that make everything look black and white.

Flagstaff is weirdly dark.

And with that light color, they might as well just turn it off.  I think they're using LPS, and it's the worst light available.  One of the reasons I miss mercury vapor and really look forward to LED, because the HPS lights most commonly used today have horrific color rendition.


They use LPS because the light produced is monochromatic, a very narrow spike which is easily filtered out selectively. This also means that the color rendering is zero. Look at objects in a room lit only by LPS and everything is black & white. Well, black & orange.

Going by the numbers, LPS reigned king as the most efficient source of light known at around 200 lumens/Watt. LEDs have surpassed this in the lab but for production stuff you are doing really well to hit 100 lm/W. The problem is the human eye is not a footcandle meter and what registers as "brighter" doesn't necessarily translate to better visibility. Plants and whatnot you find outdoors tend to look drab and brown under the orange light from both LPS and HPS while they practically glow under the mercury spectrum. Mercury lights got unfairly villainized as being inefficient but IMO they have a lot of advantages and it wasn't until recent LEDs that something surpassed them for outdoor utility lighting.

They do contain mercury of course, but so do the shorter lived metal halide and HPS lamps.
 
2014-01-31 01:35:09 PM

KarmicDisaster: If you want to be more secure,
1) put the light on the ground where you want it and so you will have more light for your money
2) reduce the glare for anyone looking at your property by not shining your light in their eyes.

Nothing burns me more than seeing a giant light shining right at me from a mile away; first, I can't see if anyone was there under your light or not, and second, you are wasting most of the light that could actually go to light up your ground around your building. Duh. It is costing you, so that makes me feel a little better because you deserve it, but you are dumb, use a cutoff fixture, they don't actually cost more these days.


Agreed. I was having problems with car prowls in my neighborhood. I installed some decorative lanterns with 5W LED bulbs on either side of my garage on a dusk till dawn timer and 8W LED wall packs on the side and back of my house. It's just enough light that anyone lurking is visible to the neighbors but not so much that it disturbs anyone. Haven't had a problem since.

Properly utilized light can reduce crime, by not letting someone lurk in the shadows. More light does not mean less crime though, all it takes is enough to see.
 
2014-01-31 01:59:33 PM

tiamet4: I thought the point of turning off the lights was to decrease light pollution (not sure if that's the right word but the thing that makes it hard to see stars from the city and can affect animals as well).  I like where I live because there aren't any street lights and when I go to sleep it's actually dark.  I sleep much more soundly.


We know...

>:)
 
2014-01-31 03:06:04 PM

miniflea: Someone knew. That someone likely protested, and if he was lucky he was simply ignored instead of demoted or fired or something.


Yeah, this. When the boss(es) come up with some dumbfark idea that they think is genius, most people jump right on the bandwagon and hold on for dear life.

If you're the idiot who tells them it makes no sense, they'll all give you a blank look as if you just told a filthy joke starring their mothers.

And don't think being proved right eventually will be a consolation. It won't. They'll all act like the shiatty idea never happened, but you'll still be the asshole who disagreed with the boss in front of everybody.
 
2014-01-31 05:38:18 PM

themindiswatching: ladyfortuna: I once watched a cop sit at a red light (T-intersection, probably 3 AM) for almost five minutes because I guess he was trying to be a good example to us, as we were right behind him. Finally he got fed up and made his turn. Apparently that one didn't have a sensor at the time on the side road. I'm so glad I found out about the triggers for those things, through Fark IIRC, because where I live now, you basically have to trip the damn things on purpose to have any hope of getting through some of the traffic lights.

Trigger? As in the wire loop under the pavement?


Some of them have magnetic switches instead. Someone I know complained about people creeping when they're at a light and he didn't appreciate when I showed him a diagram (sadly lost to the internet void at this point, apparently, since I can't find it). There are a bunch of different sensors, I don't even know what all the options are.
 
2014-01-31 07:52:27 PM

James10952001: Both Westinghouse and GE had a problem in the late 1960s with their Bonus Line and Lifeguard series extended life mercury vapor lamps. It turned out that the lamps were far outlasting their design life, with many of them lasting decades. A lamp that never fails is not good for a business selling lamps.


I'd think the fact that you'd corner the market (and thus have a Lot more consumers) would make up for the fact you sell bulbs less often to each consumer. I'd rather sell something to everyone in the USA once a decade, (~300million sales /10 years) rather than sell one of them every 2 years to 1/10 the population (5 * 30 million = 150 million). And that's leaving aside things like reputation (which allows you to expand to new items, with a user base that already trusts you and wants your products), and being 'Green' (less sold= less thrown away and sitting in landfills), and just doing the right thing.
 
2014-02-01 12:05:08 AM
Either light everything up, or light nothing up. I don't know about anyone else, but I have a hard time seeing past the last streetlight, as my eyes have adjusted to the brighter illumination and need some time to adjust back to "headlights only" illumination.
 
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