Seattle's New LED Streetlights are Unpleasant
This is a petition to the Seattle City Council, Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Light addressing the installation of LED street lamps in strictly residential areas. We find these lights to be offensive for different reasons, not all of us for the same reason, but among the ones we’ve heard are: 1. Intensity. They are far too bright. They obscure the night sky from below and create sharp and distinct shadows of cars, trees, etc. Some of us have taken to wearing beaked caps, like baseball caps, to walk through the neighborhood at night. 2.Glare. The light bounces off any metal object (as in, cars) and against the wet pavement to create an unpleasant reflection up. 3.Expanse. Their cone of bright light is broad. (E.g., the streetlight at 50th Ave South and Lake Washington Boulevard now lights up the entire beach and bench area at the lake across the boulevard. It’s like sitting in a soccer field.) 4.Color. The Engineer’s prepared response about the “color temperature that is similar to moonlight” and the 60% less energy use and the patronizing tone of your email instructing all of us on this. From the letter from the Joint Use and Streetlight Engineering Manager at City Light: “I hope that you can understand the reasons for this change and that you can appreciate some of the benefits these new lights will provide.” “I hope you can appreciate” is veiled scorn, as anyone can see. The “will provide” tells us exactly how our complaints are heard. There will be no change, as far as City Light is concerned. 5. Intrusiveness. Where people have complained about the light intrusiveness into the house in an area of dark (along or in view of Lake Washington) and where people often had no curtains but now have had to cover their windows instead of keeping their view, we are told the Resident Engineer will check it out and then told he found it “not overly lit.” We request the city, through whatever means are effective, to address this issue. We are paying large taxes. This is a quality of life and ambience issue for people living in formerly light-quiet neighborhoods. While the lights may meet your engineering criteria, they do not meet the happiness quotient. We are not happy with the amber, sweetly lighting lamps being replaced with these howling, though energy-efficient, streetlights. Many of us would like to go back, but all of us want something (filters? a lesser light?) done before summer. These lights do not work, no matter what the Lighting Engineers say.