This post hits home for what I’m experiencing myself in my Seattle neighborhood right now.

I’m not really sure what the point of the article is, to be honest.  It doesn’t specifically mention light pollution, just that the new LED lights are “stronger” than the existing sodium ones, missing entirely the point that both are a problem in terms of light pollution, but that […]

I got a letter in my mailbox from a neighbor who learned that our old sodium street lights are about to be replaced by LED lights. However, these LED lights are much brighter and whiter than the old (too bright) sodium lights they are replacing. Not only that, but the brightness of the LED lights are based on whether the street is considered to be arterial or residential. This is not good news for my house because I live on the corner of two arterial streets.

The timing of this is interesting because I just received a response from Seattle City Light telling me that they cannot shield the sodium light outside of my bedroom window. I’m happy they responded at all, they didn’t when I wrote to them over a year ago, but maybe my plea was a little stronger this time (after not being able to get back to sleep in this room AGAIN).

I now have two different contacts concerning this problem and I’ll follow up with both of them. The good news, at least for my ability to get a full nights sleep without having to purchase black out curtains, is that the LED lights can be shielded. The bad news is that for some reason the city’s decision (and it sounds like not only Seattle’s) to retrofit with LED has more to do with cost than abating light pollution. It seems like it’s not even a consideration?

My neighbor’s letter mentions that the city researched the color of the new lights against the old yellow sodium ones. The LED lights are meant to  resemble full moonlight. Well the moon is only full a few days of the month. Maybe the lights should lessen in brightness as the moon wanes. Wouldn’t that be nice.

I’ll learn more once I speak to each of my two contacts.