A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
For some time I've noticed different colored street lights on West Moreland Boulevard between Irving and Summit. Reminds me of some compact flourescent lights that I've bought. Some are a warm tone and others are more of a white light.
I come to find out that the city is experimenting with L.E.D. street lights. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode. A diode is an electronic device that when energized with a few volts of direct current, will emit photons. Sounds like something from Star Trek, no? "Fire the photon torpedos, Scotty!"
LED's have been around for many years. Their first uses were as signal devices on electronic boards. That flashing light behind your furnace door is probably an LED. My 1991 motorcycle has LED's for brake lights. The've gotten cheaper and brighter and are now widely used on cars and flashlights. I've had LED flashlights for several years. The nice thing about them is that they use small batteries which last for a very long time. LED's use little electricity for the amount of light they emit. They also don't give off much heat. Some cities that use LED's for traffic lights found out that without the heat from the old incandescent light bulbs, traffic signals could snow over in a storm but not melt. That led (no pun) to confusion and accidents and cold city workers on laddars and bucket trucks brushing the snow from the lights.
Street lights are a different matter. As they face down, the snow doesn't cover them. They use less electricity and, I think, give off a brighter light than the yellow-orange sodium vapor lights that we are used to.
Some evening take a ride on West Moreland just west of Hawthorne Elementary School, in the curve to the south, and check out the different street lights. If you think the LED lights, that are whiter and I think brigthter, are more desirable, let your alderman know.
I think they are a pretty bright idea.