Mar 3 2008
02:31 pm

The State of Missouri has legislation pending that would help deal with wasting money on bad lighting. At this point over three thousand seperate communities have Lighting Improvement legislation enacted or pending.

This article notes the problem with getting elected officials to understand that it saves them money and gives them a safer community. Some folks are simply afraid of change, even when it is obvious that there are several benefits and no negatives connected with efficient Lighting.

Talk to me...

"And let's not forget over 40-million tons of CO2 and other greenhouse gases added to our atmosphere annually from all of this BAD lighting."

Tell me about the processes that happen and how bad lighting causes release of so much CO2.


That's been covered several

That's been covered several times RB, but it bears repeating. Efficient lighting with full cut off reflectors requires between 1/2 and 1/3 the bulb size since so little of the light is wasted.

We did a quick study in Ladd Landing which had 250 watt metal halide bulbs installed and found that, with proper reflectors costing roughly $23 each, the bulb size could be cut in half and deliver the same light to the street.

If you want to see what good efficient lighting looks like, I suggest you take a look at Pinnacle Pointe, Steve and Jerry's development. it's funnyt how Steve Kirkham is so against Lighting improvement and yet it is the ONLY type of fixture installed there, except for the Harriman Utility Board fixtures on the streets.


didn't mean to be silly... I understand that properly directed lighting means you can use a smaller bulb.

I was wondering what about bad lighting produced CO2 by the millions of tons. That's what I wasn't understanding. Not understanding the chemistry/process there.

I'll say it for you: For a "smart" person, RB, you're pretty dumb!

Yes. I know.


Nah, Lots of folks don't get the connection.

Like I bears repeating. Somehow we need to drill this into the thick skull bones of our officials. Their reactionary attitudes disappoint me.

it's like here's something new (well, not all that new actually) that gives better vision at night, reduces glare, saves money, is safer, has absolutely no downside...But they're against it because...well...It's new!

By the way...I was in Madison, Wisconsin over the weekend and they've had lighting improvement on the books for years. It is amazing how easy it was to see at night without all the glare of unshielded lights shining in your eyes all the time.

Ahh, Francis...

... You're getting close to what I need to understand, I think.

How is it that too high a wattage (unnecessary wattage) makes CO2? That's what I need to be cleared up on. Don't misunderstand me: I'm not arguing against this. OK? Perhaps my focus is directed the wrong way, but as somebody who has had some schooling as a chemist, refresh my meager mind as to what produces the CO2. Am I thinking too narrowly here? I hope you understand what I'm asking... I'm trying to think about reactions involving light, etc. What am I "blinded" to?



Most of our electricity is

Most of our electricity is produced by burning something. Frankly, I don't count hydropower as green energy for several reasons, but the other exceptions to that would be wind and solar generated electricity, and nuclear power. So let's say 80% of electricity is produced by burning something... coal, natural gas, garbage...well mostly coal around here. Coal is carbon, and ultimately goes into the air as co2 when we burn it.

Hold the amount of CO2 produced that it takes to run a 250 watt bulb in your head for a bit.

So if I have an old light fixture that has a 250 watt bulb in it but a lousy reflector, I only get a certain amount of the lumens (light) that the bulb produces actually landing on whatever it is that I need to illuminate, and the rest of it is wasted, going somewhere it isn't needed, wanted, or, in the case of glare, actually reducing the effectiveness of the light that is landing where we need it.

So let's figure that in that case, about a third of the light produced lands on the street below. In practice it can be far less than that. So we have one third of 250 watts, call it 83 watts producing the lumens that are actually shining where we need them.

If we can replace that fixture with a full cut off fixture with a decent reflector, as much as 80 percent of the light generated goes where we need it. So we only need slightly more than a 100 watt bulb to light up the same area down on the street. We save 150 watts and the CO2 that would be produced burning coal to generate that amount of electricity.

The old fixture did a job for 250 watts worth of CO2...The new fixture only took 100 watts worth of CO2 and was safer because it greatly reduced the amount of glare that reaches the eye of the beholder.

What did I miss?

You got it!

THAT'S what I was missing! If you'll pardon this pun, I simply have to make it: The light bulb over my head lit up!

I was trying to make a direct connection between the ineffective lighting/high wattage bulb and the production of CO2. You have well explained the INDIRECT connection. As you say, most production of electricity that we get around here requires burning something.

The approach requires MASSIVE changes to how lighting is done. No reason not to do it, mind you. Would save money all the way around, ultimately. The more that get on board, the better. Will take lots getting on board to make significant change, though. But it is easy to do - that's a plus.


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