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Turn Streetlights Off?
updated: Feb 11, 2014, 1:15 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

A subscriber wants to know if you would be in favor of turning off our streetlights to save on power costs to the City? Studies vary in the effectiveness of the lights on reducing crime. This could also increase the use of solar panels for electricity because they don't produce energy at night.

Here is an article entitled "Effects of Improved Street Lighting on Crime".

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 493922 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:19 PM

No.

 

 COMMENT 493923 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:20 PM

Great, then crime and accidents go up in dark areas. Save power by reducing everyone's carbon footprint - stop depending on the government.

 

 COMMENT 493924 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:20 PM

Sure. I drive best when I am not burdened by actually seeing potential hazards.

 

 COMMENT 493925 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:20 PM

God, no. The streets are dark enough as is. I'm sure the gangstas would love it, though.

 

 COMMENT 493926 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:21 PM

I don't think I would agree with that. It's a known statistic that street light help deter crime. For that reason alone, the lights should stay on.

 

 COMMENT 493927 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:21 PM

I take my dog out every morning before the sun is up and I very much appreciate the light and you'd be surprised how many others are out there doing positive things at odd hours.

 

 COMMENT 493928 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:22 PM

What streetlights? I've never lived anywhere where there's been such a lack of streetlights. The few we have are needed. I did notice Public Works is taking down the white mini lights from the trees on State Street today.

 

 COMMENT 493930 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:23 PM

No way!

 

 COMMENT 493931 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:23 PM

Let's see how the gang injuntion works first.............

 

 COMMENT 493932 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:25 PM

No. Have you ever walked around in a blackout?

Beside, we have excess power during the night and whether we use it or not it will be generated and cannot be stored. You need daytime conversation solutions, not nighttime.

 

 COMMENT 493936P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:29 PM

Is the O.P. a thief or burglar by any chance ?

 

 COMMENT 493937 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:31 PM

Yes, so we can see the stars.

 

 COMMENT 493940 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:32 PM

turn off the lights in all the car lots...

 

 COMMENT 493941 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:35 PM

It's the darkest city I've ever lived in - maybe one light per block if you're lucky. So, that would be a big no.

 

 COMMENT 493943P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:35 PM

a) I wish they'd leave the downtown lights up until the sun starts setting a bit later - like in mid-March. If they'd swap to LEDs, the power use would be slight.

b) As to streetlights, many places in the developed world have switched to LED street lighting, too. Given the quality of our internet service, cell phone service, and overhead electric grid, Santa Barbara qualifies as a second-world city in some respects.

c) Street lights help deter crime in cramped urban settings. Sorry, astronomers. Since we're becoming more of a 24/7 society and want to reduce car usage, a safer walk from Jack-in-the-Box trumps star gazing. Alas, too many predators about.

 

 COMMENT 493944 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:36 PM

November 11, 2013. Cathedral Oaks and Santa Marguerita Dr. Three months ago today. As 922 said, no.

 

 COMMENT 493945 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 01:36 PM

Leave the lights on. Find better ways to occupy your time.

 

 COMMENT 493957P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:07 PM

What about converting where possible to solar powered lights. Then there would be no issue with power.

 

 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:09 PM

No.

 

 COMMENT 493971 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:27 PM

No. Especially in the wintertime - I work full time and husband works evenings....my time to "workout" is after 5pm and must include a baby and dog. I need all of the visibility I can get! Reflective clothing and flashlights help some, but streetlights help a lot - especially at intersections!

 

 COMMENT 493972 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:27 PM

Let's all drive at night with our headlight off. We might reduce our fuel consumption slightly.

 

 COMMENT 493974 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:31 PM

No. Street lights off= crime up.

 

 MACPUZL agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:34 PM

Poorly-directed lighting, which we have a lot of, just produces glare that makes it *harder* to see at night. Turn the lights down, directing the light only where it's needed. Lower wattage bulbs can now be used, since less light gets wasted. That, plus motion sensors and timers, would save billions in totally wasted energy illuminating the bellies of migrating ducks.

 

 BULLSEYEB agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:35 PM

Absolutely not!

 

 COMMENT 493982 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:40 PM

Where I used to live, there weren't any streetlights, there wasn't any crime, and there weren't any accidents. People drive slower with just their headlights.

Now I live in this suburban sky-glow and they just installed more lights to the south. A few are okay, but they can do away with about half of them.

 

 COMMENT 493983P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:40 PM

937. We are stargazers here in our family, too. And I like to walk *very* late at night.

I think it's a wonderful thing that my street has no street lights near my house. I wish some of my neighbors would tone down their outdoor lighting.

To save energy, SB City should campaign to educate homeowners about the efficacy of low power/energy star bulbs for outdoor lighting. Amber lighting is as effective as white light bulbs and MUCH easier on the eyes for us stargazers and night time/early morning stollers.

At our house, we have no outdoor lighting. We figure the burglars can bumble around in the dark and why help them find things? You'd be surprised how many homes and yards are completely dark at night. It's lovely.

 

 COMMENT 493984 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:42 PM

What Street Lights???

There are barely any in SB, this is a very poorly lit City and those that are up are so dull they must be LED's already.

I'd vote for more street lights if anything.

 

 COMMENT 493988P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:47 PM

"Jail Break!" That's what we say to each other, when our neighbors' motion-sensor blazingly high-wattage outdoor lights spotlight us, as we walk past their house in the evenings. Ugh.
Most people have no clue whatsoever about outdoor lighting fixtures and that the lights are more effective when pointed downward and not out and up.
Obviously, a lot of Edhat readers/posters are advancing in years. Our eyesight is not what it used to be. If you need streetlights to see where you're driving at night, perhaps you shouldn't be driving at night.

 

 COMMENT 493989 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 02:50 PM

street lights are for pedestrians not drivers. Downtown SB has very few lit streets. Walking downtown at night is sketchy at best.
MORE STREETLIGHTS PLEASE!

 

 COMMENT 493994 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:01 PM

turn them OFF !

 

 COMMENT 493996 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:02 PM

Sounds like a bunch of you need to go back to where you came from.

 

 COMMENT 493999 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:09 PM

I walk late at night with dog. I have a flashlight bright enough to compete with undimmed headlights. We could live with fewer streetlights I think. I'd rather see the stars.

Then there are the houses whose sensor operated flood lights come on when you walk by in the street -- they don't know to change the sensor to only turn on when their property is entered.

 

 COMMENT 494000 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:10 PM

Well, we barely have any to begin with but I say no. Terrible idea. It would be too dark. I do think that daylight savings is stupid. We would save a ton if it were still light at 8 pm!

 

 COMMENT 494005 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:16 PM

If the studies say that lights do not help deter crime, then why not? I remember reading that they reduced vandalism at a school by turning off the lights because the criminals aren't big fans of being in the dark either. They are easy to see if they have to use flashlights to get around and no other lights are on.

If we didn't need the power for streetlights, then solar panels providing electricity during the day would work very effectively.

 

 COMMENT 494010 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:33 PM

Not at all surprised that the overwhelming consensus on this was No.

Gotta say I agree with the majority

 

 COMMENT 494012 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:43 PM

Don't worry. Every time a neighbor or I forgets to move our car for street sweeping, it's $48 to the City. They should be doing fine for cash. In fact, I'd like to see the lights turned up a bit in my neighborhood...

It's the big corporate stores (like the grocery stores) who need to halve their lighting!

 

 COMMENT 494013 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:43 PM

No. Lights on and more if we can. There's plenty of sun to safely light our downtown streets. LED's are already being used.
There are plenty of areas to star gaze from nearby.

 

 VORAN agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 03:59 PM

Absolutely YES!

 

 COMMENT 494020P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:04 PM

The other issue preventing this might be the same reason I keep mine on at a apartment building throughout the night, Liability.

 

 COMMENT 494027 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:22 PM

Seems like we are used to having street lights on, so keep them on!

I wonder what people did back in the olden days?

 

 COMMENT 494029 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:24 PM

LED lights will trigger migraines in people that suffer from them. Oncoming cars are a big issue. It seems there are LED lights everywhere now. I am dreading LED streetlights.

 

 COMMENT 494032 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:29 PM

@027, well, I imagine when there were no street lights there were no cars. So, pedestrian safety would have been less of an issue.

 

 COMMENT 494034 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:32 PM

I'd love no streetlights. Unfortunately the bangers and burglars would thrive with less light. I don't care if the studies say it doesn't deter crime. The perception is that you are more visible and less likely to be victimized on a brightly lit street. Believe me, as a woman and a nature lover, I wish it weren't necessary, but it is. Apply your wit, OP, to solving the crime problem then we'll consider whether we need less street lighting.

 

 COMMENT 494037P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:41 PM

Fewer lights. We'd all be better off if we learned to live in greater harmony with sun and moon, winter and summer. Circadian rhythms. I want to see the stars.

The existing lighting is more than enough; it's too much. It is not directly downward only. I too walk at night, and I love it when there are no artificial lights overhead. If I need light, I bring a flashlight. (And please wear reflective clothing if you're near streets, so those driving can see you.)

You can tell how over-lit we are by the amount of sky-shine visible over Goleta & Santa Barbara when viewed from Gibralter or Camino Cielo roads. Dimmer, aimed appropriately, only where needed please.

(And curse the motion-sensor light offenders. If I don't set foot on your property, my passing by on the sidewalk or street shouldn't light up your motion-sensor light.)

 

 COMMENT 494040 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 04:54 PM

What did people do before electricity - GAS LAMPS!

They weren't installed to protect pedestrians from cars but from Jack the Ripper!

More lights please

 

 COMMENT 494041 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 05:01 PM

Migraine's from LED light bulbs! Oh boy. Greater harmony with the sun and moon! Where do you guys come up with this stuff.

You guys realize you are commenting on an INTERNET site, right?

 

 COMMENT 494049 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 05:20 PM

Keep the lights off; light pollution is undesirable.

 

 COMMENT 494054 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 05:54 PM

Should put in brighter lights at Oak Park and all the other little spider nests in town.

 

 COMMENT 494057P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 06:00 PM

NO! NO! NO! NO! the streets are riddled enough with gangs, crime, and loss of life as it is.

 

 COMMENT 494062 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 06:06 PM

I love that there is no street light on my road in San Roque. The stars twinkle so nicely. We're lucky to be wedged between ocean, mountains, and (lots of) open space to the north. It's so special.

 

 COMMENT 494077P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 06:56 PM

No to turning out lights, it feels like we need the lighting we have presently.

 

 COMMENT 494082 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 07:18 PM

Lose the lights totally too many street lights

 

 COMMENT 494100 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 08:12 PM

Well considering the city of goleta street lights were working in the daytime vs nighttime for a few months who noticed?

 

 COMMENT 494107 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-11 08:32 PM

To save water, I've been weeing in the street at night. I hate the idea that someone might see me, so turning out the street light sounds like a good idea.

 

 LALALALA agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 04:20 AM

Leave the street lights, turn off STORE lights! Why do all those closed stores need to be lit in off hours?

 

 COMMENT 494131 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:22 AM

Hows the crime rate in unlit Montecito vs. lit east and west side? I can do science too!

 

 COMMENT 494133P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:32 AM

I live in Samarkand in an area where there are no street lamps. I don't believe the crime rate is higher here.
I love NOT having the street lamps. It allows you to see the stars at night, which I enjoy much more than lighted streets. To conserve energy and save money, the City should switch to LEDs in their street lamps.

 

 COMMENT 494140 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:57 AM

Many years ago a friend in his 80s told us that people don't steal what they cannot see. Leave your porch lights on and lose your boots left outside the door. Darkness deters thieves.

 

 COMMENT 494152 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 07:45 AM

Absolutely Not!! I think some should be brighter.

 

 COMMENT 494158 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 07:56 AM

no way jose

 

 COMMENT 494164 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:08 AM

The lights bother my night vision goggles,so turn them off please. ;-)

 

 COMMENT 494170 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:17 AM

Well, the animals would like that . I bet part of the reason there are fewer creatures such as Ceanothus Moths is because they get diverted from what they need to do by the light. Birds no doubt get confused by the nighttime lights. Have you ever noticed the lights at the football field at SBCC on spring nights? Birds in an endless swirl around those massively bright lights. You can see them get exhausted. Then what?
But of course, public safety is paramount and we don't see the collateral damage.

 

 FRESHPAVEMENT agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 08:21 AM

yes

 

 COMMENT 494189P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 09:01 AM

No!

 

 COMMENT 494232 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 11:08 AM

Absolutely not, I remember when we had none on our street and crime was more evident for positive!
Leave them on!

 

 COMMENT 494251 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 11:51 AM

Much energy and money could be saved by just insuring all exterior lighting (public and private) goes out when it approaches sun up. I have seen numerous lights on the outside of buildings, in landscaping, etc. etc., shining all day long. The same can be said about some sprinkler systems who's automatic function does not recognize when it is raining or has been raining or that we are in a drought.

 

 COMMENT 494275 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 12:54 PM

Lights off, stars out. A night sky can be magical.

 

 COMMENT 494342 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 03:16 PM

Considering the halfway houses in our neighborhood, and the rapes and thievery, no !!! More light !

 

 COMMENT 494397 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:20 PM

Keep the ones on that are at intersections, and turn the rest off.

 

 COMMENT 494399P agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-12 06:22 PM

Turning off more lights would most likely cut down on graffiti vandalism, and at least make the determined perpetrators easier to spot as they turn on flashlights.

 

 COMMENT 494645 agree helpful negative off topic

2014-02-13 01:05 PM

I live downtown, am primarily a pedestrian, and am often out in the evening. Walking through the dark places downtown is dangerous and scary. Plus you can't see what you're stepping in or who/what is coming towards you. I'm more annoyed by the bright lights shining from buildings into their neighbors property (which IS illegal) than by the streetlights.

 

25% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.

 

*** One comment was removed from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see it.

 

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