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Compromise Reached on Streetlights in Las Cruces

New_mexicoA compromise between the astronomical community and city officials in Las Cruces, NM on LED street lighting has been reached, according to the Las Cruces Sun.

The city is in the process of retrofitting 7,563 streetlights with LEDs. The new fixtures are bright. Indeed, the story says that they could violate the outdoor lighting ordinance. The compromise will see about 3,500 lights installed that are capable of producing 4,000 lumens. That changeover is under way. About 4,000 lights on residential streets will reach only 3,000 lumens. The balance, the story said, was between light pollution – which could interfere with astronomers – and the safety and comfort of drivers and pedestrians.

The Jacksonville Electric Authority is installing streetlights that are expected to save $1 million annually. Though the LEDs are more expensive than the high pressure sodium lights they are replacing, savings over time makes the change out prudent for the Florida city. The LEDs also are brighter.

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