In a bid to save energy some towns are turning off outdoor lights in the town. This is a money saving step that also helps to reduce carbon usage and light pollution. The cost of running utility lights all night long was $24,000 for the town of New Paltz, Ohio.
The town thoroughly investigated the lighting issue finding that many light poles were very close together. This outdoor lighting, really duplicates, that light the same area are marked to be turned off. another concern is security during the dark hours. The town checked with the police about any possible security risks should the lights be turned off and have recieved the okay. The town itself only has about 100 lights that could be potentially turned off, but the amount of savings is unknown. Several residents have requested that specific lights be left on and the town council will leave these on.
It is unknown how much the town may potentially save as different outdoor lighting uses different power due to the needed wattage. Less lighting means less electricity as these lights are not solar or alternatively powered. What also is unknown is the effect on traffic. The savings created by turning off outdoor lights may be offset by an increase in traffic accidents. These factors are unknown.
While this is one step to attempt to save money. However there are other alternatives such as switching to alternative energy. While it can be expensive to install alternative energy the costs in the long run may be greater than savings from turning lights off. Consider this to be a short term fix as there is not much else that can be done once the lights are out.
However one should not discount this step. If all towns turned off half of their lights then energy consumption would drop dramatically. Many towns do not experience road traffic late at night and early in the morning and lighting is not needed. New Paltz is on the right step for reducing energy consumption. Other towns will wait in anticipation to see how much of impact turning off the outdoor lighting will have.