The night sky will grow even more polluted inside city limits as 12th & Oak struggles to save cash despite public health risks.
KCMO residents will soon have higher quality street lighting at a lower cost. The City of Kansas City is seeking to replace nearly 90,000 streetlights with modern LED lights that will reduce energy and maintenance costs, lower the City's energy use and carbon footprint, and improve public safety.
"This is one of several strategic and innovative projects that we are implementing to address our COVID-related budget shortfall with both immediate and long-term savings to the city budget," said City Manager Brian Platt. "Not only will we significantly reduce costs, we will also reduce the energy use of our streetlights by as much as 50% while providing better lighting in every neighborhood of the city."
Currently, it costs approximately $13 million a year to power and operate the city's nearly 100,000 streetlights. The electricity costs approximately $7 million per year and maintenance costs are around $6 million per year. Standard streetlight bulbs need replacement approximately every four years, while LED bulbs last 10 years or more and use up to 50% less energy than standard bulbs.
Of course there's a very real risk and cost for this update . . .
Deets . . .
"Municipalities are replacing existing streetlights with efficient and long-lasting LEDs to save money on energy and maintenance. Although the streetlights are delivering these benefits, the AMA’s stance reflects how important proper design of new technologies is and the close connection between light and human health.
"The AMA’s statement recommends that outdoor lighting at night, particularly street lighting, should have a color temperature of no greater than 3000 Kelvin (K). Color temperature (CT) is a measure of the spectral content of light from a source; how much blue, green, yellow and red there is in it. A higher CT rating generally means greater blue content, and the whiter the light appears.
"The new “white” LED street lighting which is rapidly being retrofitted in cities throughout the country has two problems, according to the AMA. The first is discomfort and glare. Because LED light is so concentrated and has high blue content, it can cause severe glare, resulting in pupillary constriction in the eyes. Blue light scatters more in the human eye than the longer wavelengths of yellow and red, and sufficient levels can damage the retina. This can cause problems seeing clearly for safe driving or walking at night . . .
"The other issue addressed by the AMA statement is the impact on human circadian rhythm . . .
"Therefore, the AMA’s recommendation for CCT below 3000K is not quite enough to be sure that blue light is minimized. The actual spectral irradiance of the LED – the relative amounts of each of the colors produced – should be considered, as well."
Conclusion . . .
Sadly, there was absolutely ZERO public discussion on this massive local endeavor that will completely change the vision of Kansas City after dark.
Developing . . .