Responsible Lighting for
the City Different
On the morning of December 21, 2020, a transformer explosion & fire at the Albuquerque Sunport shut down the airport for the full day, grounding flights, stranding passengers, and causing air traffic to be diverted at the beginning of the Christmas travel season.
The explosion and fire took place while personnel from Dalkia Energy Solutions – the company Santa Fe has contracted with to upgrade its city streetlights – was working in the transformer trying to address failed LED street lights along airport roadways.
An independent electrical contractor, asked to investigate and report on the potential cause of the explosion and fire, identified as their “best guess” for the cause the streetlight circuitry installed, operated, and maintained by Dalkia and its predecessor Citelum.
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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.
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.