I am not sure how many are paying attention, but our way of providing light is going through a serious change. Basically, it seems that what the future holds is nothing but LED lighting.
This is great in terms of cutting energy and saving money, but it doesn’t address the fact that LED lighting is not “nice” lighting. It is bright, harsh and not pleasant to the eye (both esthetically and physically as noted by the American Medical Association). Gone forever will be the nice soft lighting we are used to along our boulevards, highways, etc. I am all in favor of the energy savings, etc., but I find LED lighting offensive. Some of the lighting on billboards and signs are “Bright” beyond bright and really hard to look at. I find myself having increased difficulty driving at night and try to avoid looking at the lights. If things keep up I will probably have to start wearing some form of eye protection at night.
Just how much brightness do we want or need? Along with the street lighting soon more and more automobiles will be equipped with LED lights. Have you experienced them in your rearview mirror?
This awareness started for me with the change in holiday lighting. Advances have been made, but they new LED lights are just not as warm and welcoming. Now as time has passed I have followed lighting changes along our highways and now they are coming to our neighborhood. Last winter, I visited JeJu Island in South Korea, where LEDs are in full force and it was not a pleasant experience.
I ask you to consider if you would like the type of lighting now installed on Raymond Avenue just north of Hampton Park Co-op in front of your house or along your boulevard. Ask some of the folks in Merriam Park what they think. I would think that anyone with a sense of beauty, especially at nighttime, would also be offended by this type of lighting.
I bring this up because it is not too late to do something. We can get on board with the City of St. Paul right now before it is too late and get involved in the decision-making process. This form of lighting is not something that you will just eventually get used to. Once installed they will be in place for years to come.
I do care about the environmental impact of reduced energy use; in fact, I would love to see all our lighting produced with solar power.
If you are interested in this issue, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-757-8012.
Barry Riesch, St. Anthony Park