Nov 07

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Brighter White L.E.D. Street Lights Arriving In The Portola Now


In the foreground are the new L.E.D street lights casting light down on the street. In the background are the old orange sodium vapor lights on Bernal, casting their light out in a wider spread. Which do you like better?

The nighttime cityscape is in the beginning stages of a complete transformation as the S.F.P.U.C. and P.G.&E. switch their street lamps over to higher efficiency L.E.D. bulbs.

Start saying your goodbyes to the ubiquitous sodium vapor bulbs that have washed cities in an orange glow for decades. The new L.E.D.s selected for San Francisco’s streetlights are a soft white 3000k color temperature bulb that creates a warmer light as opposed to a cold blueish light that many other cities are installing in their street lights. The new bulbs also do a better job of focusing light on the street which helps darken the sky while still providing a brighter, more evenly lit street. Better for safety and also better on the environment as the new lights in California alone, will save enough energy to power 500,000 homes a year according to PG&E.

Top: Dimmer sodium vapor lights on Brussels St. Bottom: Brighter L.E.D. lights on Burrows St.  (In person the old is much dinner, I think my phone adjusts for the light.) 

We reached out to PG&E about the project and learned that D-10 and a portion of the Portola will be the first to receive the lights in the pilot program. Installation of the first phase has already begun and will be complete by Thanksgiving at which time discussions will begin with the city on the next areas to be upgraded. Last we heard though, P.G.&E. has no timeline to change over the entire city or finish the Portola, but given that the new bulbs are saving them money, we assume that it will occur fairly rapidly.

If you hand any questions about the program or lights, you can reach out to PG&E here.

Courtesy of PG&E, map of Portola showing locations of new L.E.D. street lights in pilot upgrade program.


Permanent link to this article: http://portolaplanet.com/2017/11/brighter-white-l-e-d-street-lights-arriving-portola-now/


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  1. Laura Milvy

    I’d rather be able to see the strars!

  2. Laura Milvy


  3. Melanie Walker

    With all due respect to the effort for lower electricity usage, these lights are harsh and too bright. Every night, I used to enjoy looking out into McLaren Park (across the street) to watch wildlife, but now it is challenging to see past the glare. One street light is just outside my window and the sharp white light actually is uncomfortable on my eyes (and I’m no wimp). I used to keep my curtains open and look out at the warm twinkling city lights but no more- I must now close the curtain. Sigh. I am going to call and see if I can get some sort of shield installed to keep direct light from flooding into my house.

  4. Dave Baldini

    I agree with melanie. My inside of my house is lit up now. Its feels like there is a spotlight pointed at my windows at night shining in my house. They say test program but it seems likely that they’ll not change them back. The ruralness and natural beauty of living next to McLaren and the reservoirs is totally altered at night

  5. P

    The new lights are great! I’m sure it will take some time for people to get used to them, but given the increased frequency of car break-ins (and other property crimes) I’m happy there there is more visibility at night.

  6. Al

    There’s a shield request option on the 311 app. Not sure if they’ll actually add them though.

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