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New LED street lights

Original post made by D on Feb 14, 2014

What are peoples thoughts on the new LED street lights that they started installing last week? If they haven't been in your area yet, the WILL BE!!

Comments (43)

Posted by Sam, a resident of Oak Hill
on Feb 16, 2014 at 9:11 am

Don't believe that we have the LED streetlights in our section of town yet, but I think that they're a good idea. Not sure if they're more energy efficient than arc-lamps but they do have much longer lives which will greatly cut down on maintenance costs,

Posted by Dan, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 16, 2014 at 9:41 am

I saw that most of Pleasanton Meadows is all done. The neighborhoods and W Las Positas is done. They seem to be ok.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 16, 2014 at 6:54 pm

The lights are much whiter and brighter. Good for the environment.

Posted by oldtimer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2014 at 8:51 am

They are great! Our bedroom used to be brightly lit from the old street light because it sent light out in all directions. The LED lights just shine downward, not sideways. Our bedroom is dark now.

Posted by Old Olde Towner, a resident of Old Towne
on Feb 17, 2014 at 9:44 am

Good idea to eliminate stray light. Many communities are establishing night sky ordinances.

A web site that has information:
Web Link

Posted by mooseturd, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 17, 2014 at 9:45 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

I cannot think of a thing not to like. Those at the remodeled DB Swim Center are wonderful. I have LEDs in 90% my home now.

Posted by john, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:02 am

Agree that they look good and are a great improvement over the old lights.

Posted by Georgina, a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2014 at 1:34 pm

I live in Palo Alto but when I go running in the mornings when it is dark out, I can see so much better on the streets that have been updated to LED lights, it makes a big difference. I wear a headlamp anyways but the LED lights make a huge difference - I certainly feel safer from tripping over my own feet or any uneven surfaces.

Posted by Map, a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 17, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Wondering which lights you guys have been looking at?? The neighborhoods I've seen with the new LED street lights are putting out less light down at street level, hopefully the money saved is used ito increase police presence to combat the increased residential crime coming on these darker streets.

Posted by Dan, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 17, 2014 at 10:44 pm

MAP, what area have you seen with the new lights? Most people are used to the old street lights that put light down and straight out in all directions (aka light pollution). The new lights just light what they're supposed to, the STREET. This may cause it to seem darker but its the homeowners job to light their own property. The light is also whiter, not amber and uses about half the power.

Posted by Cathy, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 1, 2014 at 12:52 am

I disagree with most of these previous comments. The old street light gave a diffuse light throughout our street and did not light up our bedroom like a used car lot! The light is outside our 2 story house and bedrooms are in front, so they are lit up at night now, even with all curtains closed. The light shines on my white car parked in front--and it looks like a greenish-white neon sign out there. The street light does not light most of the street, or even the area by the house across the street from us (which is dark now), but it shines directly on my car and into our bedroom windows. Awful! My husband says the street by our house looks like a lighted prison yard where guards are making sure nobody escapes! We called the city to complain.

Posted by Meadows, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

I totally agree with Cathy!
Hate them, they shine into our second story bedrooms, no more keeping a shade up and a window open to be cool in the nice weather. City saves on electricity but my electricity bill will be sky rocketing because I'll have to keep the shades closed all night and run the AC!

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 3, 2014 at 11:04 am

Finally I've viewed the lights...not bad! I might get a few.

I think that everything needs to be booby trapped...otherwise even your nice neighbors will lift anything that not nailed down...what a shame...a neighbor lifted one of my garbage cans. I knew it was mine because I painted the bottom with blue paint. shame shame shame...

i rest my case...BUSTED!

Posted by Republicrat, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm

LED lights are WAY more expensive. WAY more efficient than orange or blue HP Sodium. But cities are being pressured into installing them under the guise of less carbon/nat gas electrical consumption. I would love to know what the city is paying for replacement of said bulbs? 50:1 cost ratio aint such a deal. Maybe they could change as needed, instead of wasting an operating light with LED. Pleasanton contracts out it lighting to an outside source. Maybe cholo can do some of his cunning research to answer some of these ?'s ALL LED bulbs are manufactured in china. There is a co. in livermore, BridgeLUX, that sells mass quantity
Fiat Lux

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 3, 2014 at 5:24 pm

The little lights that could: Web Link

Posted by John, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 8, 2014 at 10:45 pm

In my neighborhood, Val Vista, Phoenix Electrical Company is done installing the new LED street lights. Couple poles are already out on Denker, so much for long life...Not to mention that is definitely darker than before. At a cost of $1,613,404.24, I already miss the old High Pressure Sodium Vapor street lights...

Posted by On Hansen, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 9, 2014 at 10:30 am

I'm wondering if the lights can be adjusted as far as the angle they shine. I base this on posts above and the one replaced in front of our house shines on the street where before it shined more on the mowing runner and sidewalk. I've also heard of burned out lights in other neighborhoods. Could it be that is expected with so many being replaced?

Posted by Paulette, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 11, 2014 at 2:10 am

Hate the LED lights!!!!!They give our street a shady, as in scary, Jack the Ripper appearance - like a back alley in a big city. They also sort of make all the cars in the street look like pop art - sort of make things not look natural - cartoonish. I don't think they give the neighborhood that cozy, warm, safe feeling that the old lights provided - that i am use to. The street looks more foreboding. I can't imagine a young man kissing his girlfriend under one of these things; but, I can totally imagine someone stabbing someone under one. They just put off that kind of creepy kind of lighting...Kind of reminds me of a used car parking lot too. It isn't a relaxing or soothing kind of lighting at all. It makes me think of big cities and liquor stores and used car lots. Additionally, if you look right at one, it's like looking into the sun. I really don't like them at all. I wish I knew they were considering changing the lights. I know I would've liked to have been consulted before they made such a drastic change to the lighting. They kind of seem big brotherish too - you can imagine a camera in there spying on people. Or, the old movie = The Day the Earth Stood Still or was it The day the World Ended... I can't remember..One of those old corny sci fi movies with aliens from space. They had these space monsters that shot rays at people & killed them. They kind of look like our street lamps look now too. I hope there is some good explanation for changing the lights - like it's better for the environment. but, it seems to me that alot of these so called green lights end up being filled with other substances that are just as bad - like mercury. what is an LED Light? I'll have to google it, since I'm not sure myself. I know I don't like the way they make the street look. Just found this: Web Link

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 11, 2014 at 1:41 pm

LED Lights are now installed along Blackbird and Woodthrush. I definitely notice that the crosswalks are better illuminated and it is easier to see pedestrians because of the whiter light. It use to be that the sodium lamps could not penetrate the dense tree canopies along these main residential streets. The LED light is more focused so at least some light gets down to ground level. Also the LED lights should not suffer the cycling ON/OFF that sodium lamps are prone to do. Yes the light is harsher then sodium, but I would rather be able to see pedestrians at a further distance tnen have "romantic" illumination.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 11, 2014 at 3:02 pm

LED lights are made with popcorn husks. Many bugs will pop go the weasel with contact and they are waaaaaaay energy saving. too bad that they freak you out but they're better than the other kind which don't do much and cost more to operate.

Posted by yuck-led, a resident of Stoneridge
on Mar 25, 2014 at 8:47 am

Muirwood North had the lights installed last week and they are HORRIBLE. The streets are dark in between the light poles, trees block most of the light. Given the amount of car and home break ins we have being directly off Foothill and within walking distance of the BART station it will be a burglers paradise in our neighborhood once again.

Posted by Not A Fan, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 25, 2014 at 9:35 am

Not a fan and also would have been nice to be told ahead if time they were changing them.

The lighting REDUCED the light between the poles. Bright under them, but between poles it is now much darker.

Posted by HATE THEM, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

I absolutely hate these new street lights. Some are brighter than others, some are already burned out! They light up a small area under the light, but it is so dark in between the poles now. We have one light on our court and the end of the court is now in total darkness. I don't think I will ever get used to them.

Posted by Julie, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Mar 25, 2014 at 12:18 pm

To everyone who is complaining about not being told, maybe you should pay more attention to what the City Council does because this is a change that was discussed in public and voted on. Plenty of people knew the change was coming; sorry you weren't paying attention.

Posted by Kim, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm

Not sure if all the lights have the same # of LEDs or if they have the same quality. Some are definitely brighter than others. The brighter ones are definitely helping to illuminate the streets better than the old lights but the not so bright ones are terrible. Is there someone checking into the quality of these lights? Hope we did not just spend tons of money getting low quality LED lights.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Mar 26, 2014 at 9:15 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Genrally, I love LED lighting, but the lights they have installed are on the low end of the color scale and display a very glary, bluish-white light that appears to be very directional. If you're right under the light pole, or immediatley to the side of the light, it's bright and glary. It reminds me of the headlights on many of the newer cars. In fact, our living room is now lit up like someone has parked on our lawn and is pointing their headlights directly at our front window.
Not a great implementation...hopefully, the lights were very inexpensive.

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 27, 2014 at 6:09 am

What we have are closer to "spotlights" -- what we need are "floodlights." It's currently like traveling from spotlight to spotlight, with much darker areas in-between.

Posted by Not a Fan, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

@ Julie: Thanks for being so involved that you knew! Must be good to be you. (insert rolling eyes here)

Posted by Mac, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm

On our street they seem defective. They are very low lighted and creepy, but turn bright at 5am. Huh??? Will check with the city to find out what gives.

Posted by Jackie, a resident of Country Fair
on Mar 28, 2014 at 11:12 pm

Horrible horrible LED lights... The plan may have been well intended but the implementation is absolutely horrible. I am no expert in lighting but my area on the street is dark and creepy. This invites trouble makers and hoodlums to my area. Did the city ever test the lighting or buy the correct bulbs? Why is it that some areas are bright and others are pitch black?

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 29, 2014 at 12:52 pm

If you don't like the lights consider moving out of California.

Posted by Brighter?, a resident of Val Vista
on Apr 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

Did they come around and fix lights? Our court was quite dark originally and about a week ago, this light shone much brighter and illuminated more of the court.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 4, 2014 at 3:44 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 4, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Nothing in the world like dimmy dimmy lights...


dimmy some

Posted by Pololo Mololo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

maybe somebody has put waaaaaaaaay to much dixie peach hair lard on the lights and that's why they're so dimmy dim dim...


dimmy sum dim sum! tee hee...

Posted by Jan, a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 4, 2014 at 5:35 pm

We also live in a court with one street light. It is now so dark at the end of the court I worry about the vulnerability of the cars parked on the street and in the driveways. We have had our cars broken into 3 times in the past few years and now our driveway is much darker with the new street lights. I will now be having motion lights installed. So much for decreasing energy usage. I used to be able to see the neighbors driveways from my upstairs and basically made a routine check before retiring for the night, now I cannot see the cars across the street. All of the streets in our neighborhood are way too dark now. The side yards are pitch black. If the new street lights diffused out a bit rather than straight down it might help. I think the LED lights need the street light poles to be located closer together to be effective at lighting. This to me was not a simple retrofit. There are dark areas everywhere between the light poles. I hate the lights and am waiting to see how much crime goes up especially when daylight savings is over. Neighborhood Watch is pretty much gone now due to the darkness. Can't see much from my windows and certainly am not going out to investigate anything in this new level of darkness.

Posted by D, a resident of another community
on Apr 8, 2014 at 5:51 am

The street lights are ment to light the STREETS. It's not up to the city to light your property.

Posted by Jan, a resident of Mission Park
on Apr 9, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Perhaps the light needs adjusting as it completely lights up the neighbors driveway and front walk while most of the STREET area in the court is very dark. I am adding motion lights to the front of the garage to light up the
street in front of my house. The new LED simply do not diffuse light in as broad of area as the previous lights.

Posted by P-Town Neighbor, a resident of Foothill High School
on Apr 10, 2014 at 5:32 pm

We have the new LED's on our block. As noted above the light is brighter and yes a cool color instead of warm (no problem, who said street light were supposed to be cozy)? Also as noted above the light is directed down instead of out - again which it is supposed to do.

LED does cost more but they last 10 times longer and cost less to operate so if this is in fact true then this was a good way to spend our tax dollars.

For those that have light shining in your bedroom, well, look at the bright side (no pun intended)it does make the house more secure.

Posted by franco, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 10, 2014 at 9:12 pm

I measured the LED lights recently installed on my street as well as the old sodium lights found on Vineyard east of Bernal.

LED light: Directly under is 14 Lux, 30 feet away down the sidewalk 6 Lux, and 60 feet down the sidewalk 4 Lux.

Sodium light: Directly under 4 Lux, 30 feet down the sidewalk 2 Lux, and 60 feet down the sidewalk 1 Lux.

The sodium lights barely meet minimum standards and the LED lights are considerably brighter.

The posts above reflect human perception in many cases versus measurable reality.

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

You may be correct.

Perhaps the brighter light concentrated directly below the light-pole adversely affects our "night-vision" in other areas -- there is little doubt that my driveway "appears" darker to me than when we had the sodium lamps. If your meter is correct, maybe it's just more difficult to see now that we have the contrast between the brighter concentrated light and the slightly darker adjacent areas.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Apr 11, 2014 at 10:21 am

Maybe what Plutonians are seeing is related to distortions caused by their various positions on the planet?

Do you think that it matters to cats 'n dogs that have better night visions than humans? NOT!

This all I have to say about this troubling matter!

Posted by franco, a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Apr 11, 2014 at 6:22 pm

On the correctness of the meter: Same meter is used to measure LED versus sodium. If there is a calibration error it applies to both types of lights. So, the numbers relative to each other still show that the sodiums are noticeable darker.

Now let me say there may be more to the story. When I made the measurements I made sure I picked street lights that were lighting the street or roadway, not street lights at an intersection. I found that at the intersection of Vineyard and Montevino there is a cluster of three sodium lights, one each on a corner (4th corner has no street light). To the eye the intersection and the lights themselves appear noticeable brighter. I measured under one of them and got a clear reading of 19 lux, which is a lot brighter than the ones running down Vineyard Avenue.

I concluded that the city may well install brighter lights, sodium or whatever, at intersections. These, of course, would draw more power and be more costly to operate, especially if they are sodium.

If you research LED street lights vs high pressure sodium you will find that for the same output luminance the LED uses half the power. So, to me I don't understand what the city is trying to do here. Save money, or provide more light at the same power cost and only save money on reduced replacement/maintenance.

My testing is very limited - only on a few lights of each type. So, it would be nice to read some document from the city that describes some of the details regarding expected luminance before and after replacement.

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