A city council member says he’s confident Calgary’s new LED street lights won't generate complaints the way a similar switch-over in Lethbridge did last year.
The city has started to replace existing high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights with new, energy efficient fixtures in Altadore. Those in Douglasdale, Marlborough, Tuxedo Park and Brentwood will be next.
After Lethbridge installed the new lights, a lot of residents were unhappy, said city spokesman Darwin Juell.
“People were complaining adamantly that it was brighter and that they could read out of their bedroom window at night. But when we measured, it was actually dimmer or the same level as it was with the old HPS light,” he said.
“Change is hard for anybody normally. But when you change the colour of the lights, it basically goes from a nice amber to more of a lighter, bluer light.”
Ken Kellett, one of the complainers, said he found the new lights far too sharp and harsh. “Basically the streets are lit up like a stadium,” he said. “We’ve ultimately put in tinted windows.”
But Coun. Shane Keating, who chairs Calgary’s transportation committee, says the LED lights being installed in Calgary are different than the ones Lethbridge used.
“You can zone it, to the degree of where the light should shine. You can change the LED technology to give you more candle power or less candle power, depending on the situation,” he said.
“If it's shining in someone's back yard and in their window, you should have the ability with the new technology and the new fixtures to be able to have the post and the light in the same location, but it shines to a less degree in the backyard.”
Keating said the city will track any complaints through 311.
The city estimates the new lights will cut electricity consumption by about 55 per cent.