About the Roundtable

On April 29, the Santa Fe Conservation Trust hosted a Roundtable on Responsible Street Lighting for Santa Fe. You can listen to a recording of the Roundtable at this link.

The Roundtable was attended by 134 community members, who asked 78 questions. We – the panelists (Sam Finn, Peter Lipscomb, François-Marie Patorni) and moderator (Terry Smith) – were unable to get to all the questions during the Roundtable; however, the questions were recorded and we are providing the answers here. 

Many of the questions were similar or related. We’ve tried to group the questions into categories, with answers linked to the questions. When several questions are so similar that they have the same answer we have taken the liberty of collapsing similar questions into a single paraphrased questions. 

As always, if you have additional questions, send them to us at our contact email

Roundtable Questions AND Answers:

Questions have been grouped into categories. To keep this and subsequent pages of manageable length, follow the category links to find the answers to the questions listed in each category. 




Are the 800 Lumens 5000 K Daylight LEDs I bought for my home just as bright as the same Lumens 2700 K Soft White LEDS? 

So light that is amberish, that I think of as warm, is in fact a cooler color? I just want to use the word well.

I would also like to hear more about scatter of light due to temperature, please.

Can you have 3,000 Kelvin amber light or does amber light have to be at a lower Kelvin?

Is the brightness of lower Kelvin lamps equivalent to  the brightness of of a higher Kelivn lamp?

Can the LED lights have covers that make the light output appear as yellow?. And what might be the additional cost factor?


What about motion controlled lights?

What about shielded lights?

Could you explain BUG ratings in relation to street lights?

Why are type II and III prefered light distribution patterns for streetlights?

Does the city currently have the option to choose the amber light?

Is there any difference in energy efficieny between LED bulbs of different “temperatures”? I’ve heard one of the reasons the City doesn’t want to use lower Kelvin (<2,700K) LED lamps because those require more energy.

Would the city need to add more fixtures, i.e. light poles, to maintain the current level of safety by changing toyellow range color LED lights?

Is there a cost difference between higher and lower kelvin ratings? According to Dalkia [3000-4000 K lights are] more cost effective. 

Do 3000-4000 K lights have longer warranties than lower temperature lights?


What is the best color temperature for not disrupting plants?

What are the effects of light pollution and color temperature as it affects our ability to star-gaze?

What is our current horizon loss due to light pollution? How will the city’s plan affect this?

How do “lumens” affect dark skies?


What is the city proposing? 

Residents are not being asked to comment on the brightness of the street lights: why is that? 

Will this plan affect just the city street lights or will it include recreation parks with night lighting?

Generally speaking, what is the color temperature of Santa Fe’s current lighting?


Where can I find the IES/ANSI Standard RP-8-18 (“Recommended Practice For Design And Maintenance Of Roadway And Parking Facility Lighting”)?

As a Santa Fe County resident, do I have any say in the Kelvin choice of lights in town?

Is there any thought here (or elsewhere) for lighting to be extended to the 14/Turquoise Trail? Would that lighting be detrimental to the local ecosystems? Would it be worthwhile for safety?

Would it be possible to have written guidance that property owners could use for their own home or business lighting?

Have all the City Council Members, Staff, and Mayor been invited to this program?

Can you link to a map or directions to the lighting test?

What is the address of the Santa Fe New Mexican site with 2000 K lighting?

How do you know for sure that the color temperatures of the demo lights are 2700 and 3000 K in color?