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Street Lighting or ...

Street Lighting or ...18-11-2018 22:42
I would like to suggest a seemingly crazy idea.
Street lighting is known to generate a lot of carbon dioxide and huge material resources are being used to build the infrastructure. But if people can see at night, then there will be no need for street lighting. I suppose that with modern technology it is fully feasible, namely through night vision goggles. The production, maintenance and energy consumption for personal night vision goggles should be much less than that of street lighting. With mass production of such a product, its price will become affordable and the quality and design will meet the needs.

To one who can not accept such a change, I would say: Imagine that for centuries mankind has been using night vision goggles, seen wonderful in the dark, and suddenly it is forbidden to use night vision goggles and replaced with street lighting.
19-11-2018 11:48
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★
Have you used night vision goggles? The image is monochrome, doesn't adjust to bright light well, like headlights. They still need to be powered, batteries need to be recharged. I have fair night vision, but street lights are much better. If you get attacked, your goggles knocked off, or broken, you are sort of screwed, specially if you've grown dependent on them. I prefer to travel light, would be interested in headgear, that isn't really a huge improvement. Street lights allow you to see things further away, and natural vision is better resolution, wider angle.

We want to reduce energy demand, fewer gadgets to play with would be a better way to go. Street lights are a better option provide safety, not just convinience.
19-11-2018 20:53
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
Street lighting is one of the best ways to reduce crime, but it is more than that.

It makes driving safer. Headlights only light up so far. In a city, where there are a lot of pedestrians, dogs, cats, etc. street lighting makes it much safer for them. Drivers can see them easier.

Then of course there are cities that don't bother with street lighting on some busy streets, such as Las Vegas. The advertisement lighting is more than sufficient to light up the strip.
19-11-2018 21:31
gfm7175Profile picture★★★★★
Yeah, I'd much rather have street lighting than night vision goggles... They help with vision so much more, and as Into The Night said, they are very good deterrents of crime. The place where I work purposely has lights shining on the porch areas to deter homeless people from sleeping there.
20-11-2018 19:46
Into the NightProfile picture★★★★★
The basic argument that started this line of thought is energy demand and the need to reduce it.

But do we need to?

No. Energy costs money, true, but the question is not about energy demand per se, but what are getting for your investment in energy. What are the cheapest forms of energy available?

To answer these questions, one must remember that batteries are not a source of energy (especially the rechargeable type, which are simply storage containers for energy from another source).

Non-rechargeable batteries take more energy to manufacture and distribute them they they provide.

Rechargeable batteries have the same issues (for a single charge cycle), and they must take their energy from some other source to recharge. Further, it takes a significant time to recharge them.

The cheapest energy for anywhere is what is most available locally. It comes down to cost per watt. Here in the nice rainy Pacific Northwest, we have lots of mountains and lots of water. This is perfect for building hydroelectric power, which is abundant here.

In many areas, oil or natural gas are abundant and are the cheapest forms of power. They are easily transported and contain a lot of power in a small package (the hydrocarbon molecule). These sources of power are quite usable for mobile power supplies too, in the form of vehicles that don't stay in one place (such as cars, trucks, trains, ships, aircraft, etc.).

In other areas, coal is plentiful and also contains a lot of power in a small package. In other areas, nuclear sources are the best option.

Solar and wind do not produce a lot of power. They are the most expensive sources of power of any source. They also consume a lot of real estate to get that power. It feels good to use it because of the 'green' nature of it, but it actually is a waste of resources. They really are most useful in isolated areas that do not have any other source of power easily available.

Hydroelectric, oil, and natural gas are all renewable fuels. Wind is fickle. Solar power is intermittent at best. Hydroelectric, oil, natural gas, coal, and nuclear are continuous cheap power.

So cheap street lighting is a practical solution to reduce crime and increase safety.
So cheap we advertise with it. There are many that fondly remember the golden age of neon and chase lights.

Many cities have gone to using LED street lighting. They last longer, they are practical to install, and they produce a lot of light without consuming a lot of watts to do it. They don't take time to start like the mercury vapor lamps do, and consume one tenth the watts to do it.

Even in homes. LED lighting has become practical. You can get them in any color of the rainbow. You can get warm white (great for interior lighting) or cold white (best for Christmas and other winter displays). A single bulb puts out the same light as a 100w incandescent bulb and consumes only 13 watts to do it. Even airport beacons (that light on a tower to let aircraft find the airport from miles away) are LEDs now. The one at our airport can cast a visible shadow a mile away! It's brighter than the old WW2 era beacon it replaced! Approach lights, runway lights, landing lights, headlights, position lights, are all becoming LEDs now.

Night vision goggles are not only impractical, they are expensive. They have terrible peripheral vision, and they depend on batteries that would actually be more expensive to mess with than street lighting would.

Street lighting is by far the best bang for the buck. There...I said it...I'm a capitalist. Let the free market decide, and it has.
Edited on 20-11-2018 19:47

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