Anchorage, Alaska: Less Light Pollution from High-tech Street Lights—Yay!

From: Anchorage Daily News

The color of night is about to change.

In a move expected to save millions, improve nighttime visibility and make it easier to see the stars, the city plans to phase out its 16,500 pinkish-orange streetlights and replace them with energy-efficient white lights. In this northern metropolis, where residents live so much of their lives under artificial light, the switch means seeing everything differently.

“The one thing about the orange light, it makes everything fuzzier. White light, it makes everything crisper,” said Nancy Clanton, a Boulder, Colo., street lighting expert helping with the new lighting plan.

Light planners are also looking at ways to make street light more precise. What if lights dimmed slowly, responding to the rising sun? Is there a way to keep them from shining into bedroom windows? How many subtle undulations of northern lights could we see if we dampened Anchorage’s nighttime glow?

The city’s light replacement plan, one of the most ambitious in the nation, … would probably happen gradually as traditional lights burn out…. Streetlights burn out every three to four years.

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