LED street lights on Liberty Ave

Tagged: 

← Back to Forums


quizbot
Participant
#

Noticed the new LED street lights on Liberty last friday night (10.19.2012). Seemed a bit darker than usual between the poles and looked up… they look similar to this but haven’t remembered to check them out in daylight. Does anyone know what the plan is with the city implementing these? Is Liberty a testing ground?

They run from 33rd at Herron Ave up to Pearl St. in Bloomfield at least… not sure how far they run past that outbound, or prior to that inbound.

It’s *really* noticible how dark it is between poles. Compared to the typical sodium halide lights in the city, the radius of the new lights does not spread out between poles and illuminate the shadows in between. This is both good and bad. Good: if you’re lit up well, you’ll be more visible in dark gaps. Bad: if you’re not, you’ll be more invisible than usual.

Bad or good, you’re going to need a bright enough headlight spotted on the road in front of you in order to see debris and flaws in the road between poles. It’s really a dark and dead space. Pic below is around 38th outbound.

I’m also less than certain that these new lights will work out for pedestrian safety. Currently, there’s about 150 feet between light poles on side streets. The halide lights spread out enough to illuminate streets/sidewalks between existing poles. The new LED’s installed on Liberty wouldn’t fill the gaps without installing another light pole between all existing light poles, or installing an LED with more radius.


orionz06
Participant
#

Check on the poles, there should be some info posted looking for comments. There were some near my office that had the same issues.


Erica
Participant
#

I called 311 recently, because they just put these in on penn ave, and I couldn’t see the road surface between each light, causing me to hit a pothole, get a flat, and be half an hour late to work. I think they would be a little better if the light wasn’t so focused.


stefb
Participant
#

I thought that they replaced the lights on one wild place a few years ago but I don’t recall them being that bad. I wonder if they’re different LEDs?


sloaps
Participant
#

any “photometric plans” I’ve had to review will show a greater density of fixtures for the LED option than the conventional sodium lighting to achieve the desired illumination. That is for streets and parking lots, the poles must be closer together to achieve a similar level of illumination as the older, less energy efficient lights.


orionz06
Participant
#

Also need to consider the price of the light. LED lighting is still insane for applications like this. My entire house would be LED lights if it didn’t cost me 4 months of mortgage payments to do it.


Pierce
Participant
#

Are the new(er) globes on Murry LEDs?


erok
Keymaster
#

yeah, it’s weird. Liberty looks really dark, but the ones on Butler look great. I think it’s because the poles are closer on Butler, as well as butler being a bit narrower. I thought the same thing about pedestrian, the lights are a bit too focused so it doesn’t light the sidewalk much.


steevo
Participant
#

Yeah I live off liberty and noticed these

last week and have the same criticism.

Across from the weird electric thing, the

poles are REALLy spaced out and it is super

dark. Also they transition from very dark to

very bright is dangerous I think, as I am

relatively young with ok eyes. It must be

a shock to old people.


Pierce
Participant
#

I bet all the old people are grateful for another thing to gripe about

“Lights these days…”

On the plus side, it kind of gives the street a more hardboiled look


Benzo
Participant
#

@orionz06 – I retrofit most of the light fixtures in my house with LED bulbs for about $10-$15 a bulb using 6 and 7 watt bulbs from amazon.


edmonds59
Participant
#

Every lighting manufacturer provides fixtures with widely varying beam patterns, as well as precise data on the beam patterns that can be computer modeled, so it shouldn’t have been necessary to spend money installing fixtures only to find out they produce a crappy result. This sounds like a simple mis-application of the fixture, or lack of research.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

@edmonds59 :-( or the lack of time & resources to choose fixtures specific to the application, rather than just a city-wide decision.


erok
Keymaster
#

that, or they just bungled which lights go where. you can see the comparison on the side streets of Liberty Ave that still have the old lights.


edmonds59
Participant
#

dmtroyer, good point. Though if the city was smart they would put the burden of responsibility on the Contractor and manufacturer to install the fixture with the right spec per each installation, rather than city personnel. Should be a performance spec like “provide no greater than 20 lumen variation between peak illumination and least illumination between light sources”, or something to that effect.


RoadKillen
Participant
#

How much more efficient are the new LED fixtures vs the Sodium fixtures? It seems like there needs to be more fixture density to achieve the same illumination levels as before. I’m wondering if the increase in energy efficiency is worth the added upfront cost for replacing the existing fixtures and all the necessary tasks for adding new fixtures. (tear up sidewalk, put in wiring, foundation, pole, fixture, replace sidewalk X the number of new fixtures).

I’m looking for that statistic that says, “city will invest $X over X number of years to save $X over X number of years.”


jonawebb
Participant
#

@roadkillen it sounds like they just used the wrong fixtures on Liberty — changing the reflectors, lenses, etc, can probably fix the problem. I doubt they’ll need to install more lights.

Whether they will or not I don’t know, but I suspect that if enough people complain and get their City Council member agitated about it (Patrick Dowd or Bill Peduto, not sure which) something will happen pretty fast.


RoadKillen
Participant
#

jonawebb,

OK. That makes sense.

I would still like to see how much money the city is saving over a set period of time. Anyone know if there was a study done prior to any of these projects? I would assume the amount saved varies per street implemented. Just curious. This is on of my nerd interests.


Marko82
Participant
#

The south side and several other neighborhoods have already had the new lights installed and they seem to be working well. I believe a group from Pitt was involved with the cost/benefit assessment and maintenance etc. was definitely part of their analysis. Hopefully this is just a poor installation and only needs a different bulb/reflector as others have mentioned.

Link:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-city/pitt-study-city-should-install-led-streetlights-229190/


rsprake
Participant
#

RoadKillen
Participant
#

Sorry, rsprake. Marko82’s post wins the help a dummy find something contest.


rsprake
Participant
#

:)


scott
Keymaster
#

Have any of you contacted any elected officials yet?


scott
Keymaster
#

If so please post your dialogue


wojty
Participant
#

It’s definitely a reflector issue. Living on Liberty, it’s a pain to even walk around after dark currently, hardly being able to see a thing 50 feet from the light.

I know the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver recently switched to LED, paying for the installation in less than 5 years, and expecting maintenance changes once every 10-12 years, with a 90% decrease in power consumption.


sloaps
Participant
#

I had a quick reply from a city legislator.

It’s possible these lights and many others installed over the past few weeks were installed by the administration and without conformance to the Lighting Code which was enacted back in April 2011.

Best we can do is place 311 calls into the city and share our experiences with these lights along Liberty Avenue. Are you having difficulty seeing and being seen; do you perceive more or less light than the previous lighting arrangement; are you aware of other LED arrays in the city with greater degree of illumination and/or visibility?


Ahlir
Participant
#

It does sound like the wrong fixtures were used. Ones with the proper diffusion pattern should have been installed. (And with LED you actually have a lot of control over this.)

Also, to second previous comments: the per-fixture cost is a minor factor. What matters is energy consumption and the cost of each replacement episode. LED is WAY cheaper.


quizbot
Participant
#

This is is the fixture installed on Liberty:

How is the light diffused? Tiny individual lenses for each LED?

BTW, this thread is #5 on the googles search for “led street lamp diffusion patterns”.


erok
Keymaster
#

cool. as far as cost, i thought i remembered that they got a grant for this, but could be mistaken


RoadKillen
Participant
#

Can I mount one of these to my handlebars?


Ahlir
Participant
#

So, this thread is now the first hit I get in Google, and in Google “incognito” as well (for “led street lamp diffusion patterns”). Oy.

I’m actually not sure that incognito mode is truly incognito (it is, after all, Google). So I tried the same search string in Bing: no hits in the first 5 pages. Even if I add “bike-pgh” or (ahem) “ahlir” to the string.

Note: Let’s not get into a flame war about the relative merits of various search engines. There’s way more to it than Page rank, and it involves cubicles and cubicles of people maintaining ad hoc rule sets that “improve” search.


pearmask
Participant
#

As far as I know, “incognito” mode just means it isn’t actively saving new information to your browsing or search history (and isn’t saving new cookies, etc.), but it’s still going to use your existing browsing and search history and stuff, so there you go. I bet if you do the same search on Google while not using Chrome / not signed into Google / not otherwise attached to your browsing history, the results will be more like Bing’s

(This is in no way a positive or negative commentary on the merits of either search engine; just sayin’)


dmtroyer
Participant
#

salty
Participant
#

I bet Bing doesn’t have anyone manually typing in search results while they’re reading this board so they can claim to be “working”.

(yes, I’m kidding. And FWIW it’s the #1 result for me as well.)

This may be interesting to you: http://support.google.com/accounts/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=54041


sloaps
Participant
#

Received word from within. Bad batch of lights. City to receive replacements at no cost.


Swalfoort
Participant
#

Wow! +1 to the cycling community for bringing this issue to the City’s attention, particularly if what Sloaps says above is true about it being a bad bunch of lights.


stefb
Participant
#

As I was going into work very early today, I noticed how bad those lights are! Glad to hear they are being replaced.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
#

quizbot
Participant
#

Cool. Thanks for digging sloaps.


Erica
Participant
#

hope the ones on Penn were just bad and are being replaced too.

← Back to Forums

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Click here to login.

Sponsors