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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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4955 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Jan 2014 at 8:21 PM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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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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