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The lady from Balfour Beaty says CFL street lights are OK.

Andy Mitchell

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Sitting in a planning meeting, now know the old LPS lights are changing to CFL based ones.

The lady from the contractor reckons with more directional modern fittings and adding baffles it won't be worse for astronomy, as while it can't be filtered less stray light will come my way.

I don't know if I should be worrying...

New light details:

Phillips Residuum


Tilt 5 degrees

Column 6m stepped tubular steel

Lamp 36W PL-L

Control Telensa (HF-Dali Ballast)

Possibly a 40% dimming later at night and/or even a switch off circa midnight. But lots of people bitching about those ideas....

How doomed am I, mostly do deep sky photography with a skywatcher 130PDS, HEQ5,Pentax kx. Own a cheapy light pollution filter and a UHC.

And no Im not buying a cooled CCD and a set of narrowband filters. :)

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I cannot see how less will come your way, it is being directed down and you are below the lamp, so directed towards you, even if not stray.

The problem may be the definition of light pollution - it meant light not going where it should. Not sure that this is the problem precisely now. So they now reduce the amount going to "waste" but they are directing it better and we are in the pool where it is directed to.

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Your only hope is NB with a cooled CCD.

There seems to be a degree of complacency creeping in here, together with the assumption that "new" = "better".

I still say the best option is LPS in a full cut-off housing, both for LP and efficiency.

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Keep them shielded so no light gets within 20degres or so of the horizontal. There are some reports of the LED lights reflecting more

Light into the sky, but I am not sure how this affects the typical light pollution which is mainly side spill from distant lights.

Cheers, fingers crossed


Pas I would ask for a cost benefit analysis for post 11pm.... Get them to put a coin slot for anyone who is up and needs the light. I used to walk the son to sleep in the evening and mostly only met the odd cat or fox, issue everyone with a yellow jacket and flashlight and turn everything off I reckon......

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A quick photo of the current style of street light on my road, and those near me. The bulb is orientated vertically so most of the light shoots off to the sides rather than illuminating below, as demonstrated by the way its lighting up the wall of the house behind it. 


I found this image of the new type on google:


The  lamps that send light into the back garden are several times further away than they are tall, so there is a good chance that will get darker. The one near the front garden, where I sometimes observe when the house is in the way, is only about 1m from my garden so thats not looking so good.

General sky glow going from orange to white is a worry as they seem to be swapping a lot of lights arround south cambridgeshire at the moment.

The numbers in wikipedia would certainly back up DaveS's point that an LPS lamp with a sane housing would be an even more efficient solution. Why the heck do they bother with CFL when it doesn't save energy at the same brightness....

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The high pressure sodium lights near me are very tall with a small intense bulb and can dazzl from quite a way off, if you get any problems ask for them to be shielded to ensure you can get a good nights rest.


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