Responsible Lighting for
the City Different

Report on Streetlight Project Requirements and SPecifications

Getting details of the city’s goals with respect to the street lighting project has been difficult.

In an attempt to learn more, one of us filed a public records request, which was fulfilled Friday, May 7, 2021. Briefly, the city’s response reveals that there are no project requirements or technical specifications for the project.

You can read a report on the significance of that finding and the search leading up to it. It is prepared as a relatively short web page with links that will allow you to dig deeper into specific matters that may be of interest to you.

We encourage you to take a look at the report. As you do, we encourage you to ask yourself the following question: is this project being carried-out to meet the needs of the contractor, Dalkia, or the needs of the city of Santa Fe?

Have questions? We promise to try to answer them. Contact us!

Making The Change to LED Street lighting 

In 2021 Santa Fe plans to upgrade its existing street lighting to modern LED lighting. Modern LED street lighting is more reliable, more energy efficient, and vastly more flexible than the city’s existing (high pressure sodium) lighting.

That flexibility – not present with previous lighting technologies – means that we no longer have to chose between safety, city ambience, public health, or protection of the environment: with modern commercial LED streetlights we can choose to have it all!

This web site is all about how we can make that choice. It starts with Responsible Lighting. 

What is Responsible Lighting?

First and foremost, responsible lighting is lighting with a purpose. Only when the purpose is set do you know what needs to be illuminated, how it should be illuminated, and when it needs to be illuminated.

For example, if the purpose of lighting is to assist pedestrians in avoiding pathway hazards, then it is the path – and only the path – that needs to be illuminated.

And, the lighting should be no brighter than necessary to illuminate the path and reveal the presence of hazards. And, only when there are pedestrians present using the path. And, warm and friendly to comfortably guide the eye. 

Light escaping from greater Santa Fe to space. In this picture red is more light, then yellow, green, and blue for very little light. None of this light is useful to the city or its residents. Some is thoughtlessly directed upward; some is reflected from the ground or the buildings it is needlessly directed toward. Even then, to be so visible from space Santa Fe lighting is much brighter than is necessary to do the job on the ground, where it is needed. It is wasted light, wasted energy, and wasted dollars. A responsible lighting plan should reduce the city’s light footprint as seen from space.

Responsible Lighting Saves . . . 

Responsible light saves energy. Lighting without a purpose, lighting what does not need to be illuminated, or in excess of how it should be illuminated, or when it does not need to be illuminated, wastes light and the energy needed to create it. 

Saving energy saves money. Saving energy reduces the city’s climate-change footprint. 

For a city, responsible lighting is responsible stewardship of city finances. The dollars saved by lighting responsibly may be spent to put more teachers in more classrooms, create and sustain parks and youth and senior programs, add to community policing, improve or expand city services, or returned to city taxpayers. 

Irresponsible lighting is a senseless bonfire of taxpayer dollars.

Want to learn more? Follow the link for The Big Picture…