LED street lamps may come to Menlo Park


Correction: An earlier story incorrectly stated that Menlo Park would either fund LED streetlights with federal money, or with redevelopment money. In fact, the city intends to carry out two separate projects.

Menlo Park looks set to put high-efficiency lights in its streetlamps.

The City Council at its Feb. 23 meeting voted 4-1, with Councilman John Boyle dissenting, to sign an agreement with PG&E for the energy company to replace high-pressure sodium bulbs with light-emitting diodes on a number of city streets. Part of the retrofits would be funded through the federal stimulus package, assuming the city's application is accepted, and part through the city's redevelopment purse.

About 20 percent of the city's 2,300 streetlights would be converted to LED, saving the city between $13,000 and $15,000 per year in energy costs.

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Posted by Jordi Argente
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Feb 23, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Great initiative; can we also see to double the number of street lights in Menlo Park?

Menlo Park streets are awfully dark, which is a major hazard for kids/teens walking after dark, and for those running, walking their dogs, going on a stroll, etc. in the dark.

Such an affluent city as Menlo Park should have more light in the streets than what we have now.

Insufficient lighting is an "accident waiting to happen"; do we need to wait for someone to die or get hurt in order to increase the deficient lighting situation in Menlo Park?

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Posted by Jim
a resident of another community
on Feb 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Recently PG@E installed a high-efficiency LED street light near my home in Redwood City. I like it and the increased visibility it offers - but, I can see where some might not. Our light is bright white, much like a intensified full moon. Mine is the only LED on the block so it looks out of place with the other "yellowish" lights. I don't care because I'm indoors, usually asleep, when these street lights are lit. If the plan in Menlo Park is to replace some but not all, unless there are models that are of the same color and intensity as the existing lights, there will be no quaint nightscapes in your neighborhoods.

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Posted by Ranch Gal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Feb 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I was quite amused and then outraged to read that "stimulus money" may be used to replace street lights. Isn't the word "stimulus" meant to "stimulate the economy by providing permanent jobs" ???? Pardon me, but wasn't that the object of the so called stimulus package, to promote permanent jobs? How in the heck did we segway the stimulus into light bulb replacement with PG&E now? HUH? Don't you get it folks? OUR taxpayer dollars are NOT being used to get our economy back on track at all by providing permanent jobs in the private sector, but for "pet projects" of local governments. I can see a definite need for the light bulbs which are low energy and brighter, fine...! But object to MY taxpayer dollars which my son, and grandson will have to fork over since we cannot pay back any of this, to buy light bulbs. I live in Atherton, not in a fancy mansion, but a small cottage, and it is DARK DARK DARK in Atherton. No visible street signs or house numbers either which is weird, like no one wants you to be able to find any addresses or streets in Atherton, but I refuse to use STIMULUS money to be used for light bulbs, unless we can hire a person PERMANENTLY who desperately needs a job to install these over a period of his years of earning capability. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Let's fix the potholes on El Camino! And not with any stimulus money.

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Posted by Joseph E. Davis
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Feb 23, 2010 at 6:54 pm

How about we get rid of all streetlights except in commercial downtown areas? I like being able to sleep in the dark.

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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Feb 24, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I think Ranch Gal missed the point. The stimulus in this case is to the manufacturer of the bulbs, not to the person who is swapping them out on the street. The increased business to the manufacturer will allow them to hire permanent employees, and their suppliers in turn may be able to hire more. At the same time the cities using them will save money and we use less electricity. This is a winner all around, and a great use of stimulus money.

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Posted by Rob Tanner
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Feb 24, 2010 at 8:47 pm

LEDs are a scam perpetrated upon us by the CFL industry. They sought to create an alleged "alternative" that was so prohibitively expensive that CFLs would look cheap. Cost has always been the biggest detractor to CFLs over standard incandescent bulbs. I support incandescent bulbs--the increased energy use is essentially a "stimulus" to the power generation industry. Everyone could use a little help.

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Posted by Donald
a resident of another community
on Feb 25, 2010 at 6:23 am

Rob Tanner is apparently not a regular user of flashlights or bike lights. If he was he would realize that LEDs are incredibly superior to incandesents. They have swept through these fields and almost put other emitters out of business. They are showing up on cars for the same reason: they are very efficient and last almost forever. Of course flashlights, bike lights and car lights are DC applications and home and street lights are AC. Converting the AC to DC is costly and drives up the cost of LEDs for those applications. I expect this will change in the next few years.

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Posted by Its Called Progress
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Feb 25, 2010 at 9:11 am

Rob Tanner:
"I support incandescent bulbs"

I guess you support telegraphs rather than computers, corded phones rather than cell phones and horse-drawn carriages rather than cars as well.

Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2010 at 10:40 pm

If you get your PG&E bill and it's $250 like mine or even more this is why. PG&E has been cheating us so bad they are looking at any way they can get rid of the money. This is also why you can now buy the PG&E subsidized CFL's for very little money.

Another example of the ways PG&E is wasting money is the "meter upgrades". Waste of money.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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