Some Red Deerians complain about too much light “spillage” from new LED streetlights. (Black Press file photo).

Some Red Deerians complain about too much light “spillage” from new LED streetlights. (Black Press file photo).

LED streetlights in Red Deer too bright, complaints discussed at city council

Night-time light ‘spillage’ can be a problem, says councillor

Public complaints about light “spillage” into homes from new LED streetlights were discussed at Wednesday’s budget meeting.

Coun. Dianne Wyntjes said some Red Deerians complain streetlights outside their homes are so bright they can read books in their living rooms and wonder if there are dimming capabilities.

Utilities manager Jim Jorgensen said his department has fitted all of the city’s 11,000 streetlights with LED lights in recent years. While the goal was to maintain the same level of lighting, he admitted the new LED lights are blue-er and produce “a different quality of light” than the more yellow-toned incandescent lights they replaced.

The city’s Electric Light and Power department has been working with residents at “trouble sites,” near major roadways. Streetlights have in these cases been redirected away from homes as much as possible. “We are always looking for solutions… The door is open to any upgrades or modifications,” said Jorgensen.

Various municipalities have taken different approaches to street lighting, with some enacting dark skies policies. In Hawaii, for example, artificial lighting is kept lower so as not to interfere with the life cycle of endangered sea turtles, nor obstruct telescopic views of the night sky.

As for dimming LED Red Deer’s streetlights, Jorgensen suggested this could defeat their primary purpose— to create safe streets for pedestrians and motorists. “We do follow North American standards,” he told council.

Up to 30 complaints are received by his department annually about too bright streetlights, but about the same number come in from people who want brighter lighting around their homes or yards, said Jorgensen.

As his department has always prioritized keeping streets well lit, he added a new direction would have to come from council on whether to change a decades-old practice.

READ ALSO

Proposed downtown Red Deer public washroom pulled from 2021 budget

Red Deer city council holds closed-door discussion about proposed aquatics centre

Wyntjes suggested council review this at an appropriate time.

Coun. Veer agreed with Jorgensen that it’s a “balancing act” to sufficiently light up streets and sidewalks without disturbing residents with light pollution.

On Wednesday, council supported spending $460,000 in 2021 to upgrade cables, poles and controls.



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Red Deer City Council

Just Posted

Mayor Rick Bonnett. (Screenshot)
WATCH: Ponoka council calls on gov’t to support rural small businesses

Ponoka council is calling on the provincial government to increase funding to… Continue reading

Pumpjacks draw oil out of the ground near Olds, Alta., Thursday, July 16, 2020. A new report suggests the economic impact of the pandemic led to a massive increase in federal aid to Canada's oil patch. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Alberta economy ‘still reeling,’ says ATB Financial

Alberta’s economy is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and… Continue reading

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

The Minnesota Wild celebrate their overtime victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
Eriksson Ek’s OT goal lifts Wild past Vegas 1-0

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joel Eriksson Ek’s goal at 3:20 of overtime… Continue reading

Toronto Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr., celebrates after hitting a double against the Philadelphia Phillies during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 16, 2021, in Dunedin, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)
Girardi, Segura have confrontation as Phils lose to Jays

Blue Jays 10 Phillies 8 DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) — The injury-depleted Philadelphia… Continue reading

New York Islanders' Kyle Palmieri (21) returns to the bench after scoring during the first period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Sunday, May 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Palmieri’s OT winner lifts Isles by Penguins 4-3 in Game 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Islanders brought Kyle Palmieri home at… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions hearing to examine an update from Federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19, Tuesday, May 11, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)
Fauci says pandemic exposed ‘undeniable effects of racism’

ATLANTA (AP) — The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, participates in a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Feds face growing calls for answers after general overseeing vaccine effort sidelined

OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government is facing growing calls for answers… Continue reading

Conservative MP Ron Liepert rises during Question Period on Parliament Hill, Friday, March 10, 2017 in Ottawa. Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails from people wanting to talk about his party's climate plan have slowed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Alberta MP pitches Conservative carbon price with a 24-pack of Pilsner

OTTAWA — Ron Liepert says these days, the phone calls and emails… Continue reading

A sign marks Stairs Place in the Hydrostone district in the North end of Halifax on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The street was named for William Grant Stairs, a Canadian explorer from Halifax who helped lead some of the most controversial expeditions through the African continent. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Where the streets have explorers’ names, some Halifax residents call for change

HALIFAX — When builders created Halifax’s distinctive Hydrostone neighbourhood more than a… Continue reading

Riley Oldford, 16, suffers from cerebral palsy. He was the first youth in the Northwest Territories to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here he receives the needle from nurse practitioner Janie Neudorf in Yellowknife on Thursday May 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden
People with disabilities even more alone during pandemic: cerebral palsy spokeswoman

YELLOWKNIFE — Riley Oldford is usually out playing sledge hockey or hanging… Continue reading

Most Read