19 April 2011

Beginning to See the Light

Back in November, I wrote (among other things) about the need for new streetlights in Chicago. I didn't realize it at the time, but the city was actually already in the progress of testing new models. Hopefully, I can be excused for the gaffe, as even now I'm finding it incredibly difficult to locate any information online about them. I was slightly taken aback to actually see some of the new residential street lamps yesterday, on the 2600 block on North Hamlin in Logan Square. I ride my bike down that street all the time and only just noticed them, so they couldn't have been there more than a few days. I snapped a photo with my phone:

They were switched on in the middle of the afternoon, and I've yet to see how these look at night, but I think I like the design. The light overhanging the street is significantly lower than the old models, suggesting that the amount of light pollution given off should be at least partially mitigated. The addition of the pedestrian-scale light on the sidewalk side is a huge plus in my estimation. From what little information available out there, I believe these use metal halide bulbs rather than LEDs, but I could be mistaken. I would love to hear from anybody with additional info.

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